Men – The Need For Better Oral Care

Why the ‘superman syndrome’ is bad for your teeth and gums

Although it may be true that men, in general, are now more open about talking about their feelings and generally not being as machismo about their lifestyle, there is still plenty of evidence to suggest that this is probably still a minority.

The ‘macho tendency’ amongst some men can lead them to believe that they are almost invincible (hence the ‘superman syndrome’). This can have an effect on many parts of their lives, and that includes how they look after their teeth and gums, or don’t, as the case may be!

This can also apply when a dental issue does occur. For example, bleeding gums can be brushed off as ‘irrelevant’ as there is often little blood and sometimes little or no discomfort. This approach though could well lead to tooth loss if not treated in time.

In today’s blog, our Foxhall Dental Practice Ipswich team takes a look at a few of the issues surrounding the ‘superman syndrome’ and what can be done to counter it.

Cigarettes and alcohol

Perhaps one of the more traditional ‘markers’ of masculinity. The times are definitely changing but it is not so long ago that to not smoke or drink would have probably resulted in derogatory comments. Whilst there is evidence that the younger generation is slowly drifting away from these habits, they are still a mainstay with many men.

Both of these habits, but cigarettes especially, can be incredibly harmful for both teeth and gums. Your teeth are likely to become badly stained, but more seriously, the risk of oral cancers are greatly increased if you regularly smoke and drink. The odd glass of beer should be relatively harmless, but excess or regular alcohol intake can be as bad as smoking on this issue.

Alcohol is also responsible for a large number of accidents and collisions. Stay sober to stay safe!

If you do smoke, our advice would be to seek help to stop smoking. Vaping is a solution that works for many smokers although the long term effects of this is not yet fully known.

Your teeth are not ‘tools’

Well, strictly speaking, teeth are tools that should be used to bite, chew and break down your food. This is their purpose. What is not, is to use your teeth for activities such as opening packets, and worst of all, bottles. There is nothing ‘big or clever’ in using your teeth to open a beer bottle in the attempt to impress, but dentists all over the UK will have seen the result of this all too often.  Getting it wrong can lead to broken teeth or even more serious issues such as gashed facial tissue, swallowing broken glass or even choking on a bottle top. Activities such as this really aren’t that smart and hopefully none of our Ipswich patients would consider it!

Go to the dentist

Men perhaps have a tendency not to seek medical help until there is a significant issue, brushing away what may be likely to be early warning signs. This applies to dental care too. There is no sense in waiting until you are in severe pain with a toothache. Instead, if you sense that something is not quite right, please come and see us as soon as possible to have it checked out. A relatively minor break in a tooth can be restored using a filling. If you ignore this though and leave it, the weakened tooth is more likely to become further damaged and may need more extensive treatment to save it.

You should also, of course, maintain regular check ups. This allows us not only to monitor your tooth and gum health, but also look for early possible symptoms of mouth cancer. Although still relatively rare, this can kill, and early detection is very important for the best possible treatment outcome.

Talk to us

Men sometimes like to hide their feelings. We understand that it can be uncomfortable and we often think we are the only ones in a certain situation. Keeping quiet though can be harmful for your health. Dental anxiety can prevent patients receiving even the most basic oral care. So if you are afraid of your regular visit, please talk to us. We think you will be surprised at the help we can offer. Also, when you have your appointment, please do tell us of any symptoms you have, even if they seem trivial. These can offer important clues to problems that are likely to occur in the future.

Finally, when you see your GP, if you are a sexually active male, and especially if you have a number of partners, please talk to them about the possibility of HPV immunisation. This largely sexually transmitted virus is increasingly being linked with oral cancer and immunisation will help to protect you from this.

It is important that everybody sees a dentist on a regular basis, and this includes men, of all ages! To make your appoint at the Foxhall Dental Clinic in Ipswich, please call us today on 01473 258396.