- June 11, 2018
When men think of improving or maintaining their health, they often consider goals such as eating healthier, working out daily or losing weight.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, we suggest a goal that many may find surprising: Take better care of your teeth.
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology shows that more men need to hear that. The study found that women are nearly twice as likely to have had a dental checkup in the past year and scheduled follow-up appointments for treatment recommended at those checkups. Perhaps as a result, women had better periodontal health indicators, such as fewer incidences of plaque, calculus and bleeding on probing.
Your mouth is a window into your overall health. If you want better systemic health, keeping your mouth healthy goes a long way toward accomplishing that.
Following are five ways in which poor oral health can affect other parts of your body.
- Poor oral health puts you at greater risk of stroke and heart disease.
Studies continue to connect gum disease and heart disease. The bacteria that create inflammation, bleeding, and bone loss around your teeth has the ability to enter your bloodstream and reach the arteries. That can result in blood clots and heart attacks.
- Those who are in poor oral health are at higher risk of getting cancer.
Inflammation is associated with cancer, and growing tumors damage tissue and lead to more inflammation. A study published in the Annals of Oncology found that men who have periodontitis are 13 percent more likely to develop cancer overall, and those who have advanced forms of periodontal disease are 45 percent more likely to get diagnosed. Smoking-related cancers including those of the lungs, bladder, esophagus, kidneys, stomach and liver, appear to be most affected.
- Men who are in poor oral health are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
That same inflammation that seems to be the culprit of so many systemic ailments also has been identified as a potential cause for impotence.
A Taiwanese study found that men who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction were “79 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with chronic periodontal disease than guys without ED,” according to Men’s Health.
- An increased risk of prostate problems is associated with poor oral health.
An inflamed or infected prostate secretes higher-than-normal levels of prostate-specific antigen. The American Academy of Periodontology reported that men with signs of periodontal disease often have higher-than-normal PSA levels, which can lead to prostatitis.
- Some medications can increase periodontal disease risks.
Medicines used to treat systemic illnesses such as hypertension and Parkinson’s disease can cause dry mouth. In turn, that can increase the risk for periodontal disease and cavities, since there isn’t enough saliva to help wash away bacteria and food debris. Increasing your water intake throughout the day, using a saliva substitute and chewing sugar-free gum can help combat the problem.
A Treatment Solution
There’s no need to fear the dentist, men. We offer periodontal disease treatment with LANAP.
This treatment is performed in a single office visit. It involves no cutting, no sutures, and it’s virtually painless. If you fear your teeth are too far gone, we can replace your teeth immediately in one visit to create a healthy, gorgeous smile.
Kickstart your journey to improved overall health by scheduling a comprehensive exam with a periodontist. Be sure to share all the medicines you’re on, as well as your complete health history so your periodontist can work with you effectively and help get you on the road to better health.