Men’s dental health: did you know dental disease can have life-threatening consequences?

Men are statistically less likely to maintain good dental health—which can have devastating overall health effects.

The link between dental health and overall health has become a much-researched topic in the last 10 years. Everyone from heart surgeons and GPs to dentists are studying the effect of dental health on the rest of the body.

So far, what has been shown is that bad oral health negatively affects the rest of the body. Gum disease has been linked to problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and chronic kidney disease.

Tooth infections and their rare—but fatal–outcomes

Tooth infections have been known to travel into the blood stream and cause serious problems, and in rare cases have been the cause of death.

In January 2017, a 26-year-old father of two died after complaining of a toothache.  A truck driver; he had to pull over during one of his runs to visit a dentist and get antibiotics. Which worked. For a time.

However, it got progressively worse and he ended up in hospital. The doctors tried everything but the infection from his tooth had spread into his blood and lungs—he died shortly after entering hospital.

In 2017, a similar incident happened to a 12-year-old boy. What his parents thought was a simple toothache turned out to be a tooth abscess—he also died from the infection.[1]

Why the focus on men’s dental health?

Men are less likely to visit the dentist, less likely to look after their oral health. Yes, this is a stereotype. But it also has a basis in statistics.

For example: men in a relationship are more likely to visit the dentist than single men. Mostly, because their partner makes an appointment for them, and because they are more conscious of their health when they are in a relationship.

Benefit of taking care of your oral health for your overall health

Taking care of your oral health is simple. Brush and floss regularly, cut back on the sugar, quit smoking if necessary and visit your dentist regularly.

However, saying cut back on the sugar is oversimplifying the issue. We are not saying that you have to cut sugar out of your diet altogether. But eating less of it, and not snacking on sugary food and drink throughout the day. Chew sugar free gum after meals and drink plenty of water.

How often you visit the dentist depends on your oral health. Some patients need to visit the dentist every 6 months for a scale and clean. Others get along just fine with a yearly check-up and clean.

By taking care of your oral health you reduce the risk of infection and bad bacteria travelling from your mouth into the rest of your body.

By attending regular dental check-ups, you can prevent problems from becoming serious. Also: it’s cheaper to have a check-up than root canal therapy or have a dental crown placed.

If you would like to know more, or to request a consultation at Kilmore Dental & Specialist Centre, please contact us today.