Unlike women, men tend to ignore health issues, including oral health issues. Oral health plays a major role in overall health. However, recent polls show that men rarely seek preventative dental care and often neglect their oral health for years.
I’m Dr. Corbet Locke, a dentist in Waco, TX, and I want to encourage men to take an active role in their oral health. Neglecting dental visits can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. Peridontal disease results from plaque that hardens into tartar. Bacteria found in tartar release acids which irritate gums. The acids continue to breakdown fibers that anchor gums to teeth and pockets form, then fill with bacteria.
Researchers connect periodontal disease with cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. With an increased risk of heart attacks, men are often placed on medications that can dry their mouths. When saliva flow is inhibited, the risk of cavities becomes more prevalent. Saliva balances the ph levels in the mouth to reduce cavity-causing bacteria.
Men who use tobacco products increase risk of contracting oral cancer and gum disease. Oral cancer is most frequently found on the back of the tongue, lips and gums. If ignored in the early stages, it can progress leading to chronic pain, loss of function, disfigurement, and even death. If you regularly use tobacco products, I encourage you to stop and to schedule frequent dental visits to detect issues before they become severe problems.
It is not too late to take control of your oral health. Contact my Waco dentist office at (254)776-4888 to schedule an appointment for a cleaning and check up.