Father’s Day: Love Dad, Love His Gums

It has been estimated that 64 million Americans-almost half of the adults in the Unites States-are suffering from periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is on the rise due to our aging population. It occurs more in mid to later life because it takes time to develop.  An interesting fact, according to one Ontario dentist, is that even older, well-educated people don’t take great care of their teeth. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is with proper oral hygiene. Brush and floss regularly, and visit your dentist twice a year for a thorough dental and gingival evaluation. With Father’s Day approaching, give your dad, husband, or brother the gift of healthy gums. Dr. Fondriest will be happy to perform a thorough oral evaluation and discuss dental treatment options with the men in your life.

Men And Gum Disease

Poor gum health can impact your overall health in many ways. Research indicates that periodontal disease is more prominent in men than women. According to research, 56 percent of men opposed to 38 percent of women develop gum disease as they age.  We all want the men in our lives to be healthy, so bringing this fact to their attention may help. According to the Journal of Periodontology, women are nearly twice as likely to attend regular dental check-ups than men.  Men not only avoid going to the dentist more than women, it seems they are not as diligent with their oral health care. When men visit the dentist they present with a higher incidence of gingival sensitivity, irritation, redness, swelling, bleeding, and higher levels of plaque and tartar, than their female counterparts.

Poor dental hygiene may impact other areas of a man’s health including causing impotence, heart disease, prostate issues, and cancer.

  • Impotence: Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation of the gingival tissue due to bacterial irritation and infection. Inflammation due to infection affects other tissues of the body regardless of the point of origin. If your gum tissue is infected, other areas of the body may very well experience inflammation.  Periodontal disease has been linked to vascular disease. Therefore, according to research, the chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease can damage blood vessels causing an increased risk of impotence in men, particularly those over 70 and under 30 years of age. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men in their 30s who presented with chronic severe gum disease were three times more at risk for impotence than those who didn’t.
  • Heart Disease: Because heart disease is a chronic inflammatory disease and so is periodontal disease, numerous research studies have indicated a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Men are already at higher risk of developing heart disease than women, and the inflammation associated with periodontal disease may increase that risk.
  • Prostate Health: A man’s prostate secretes an enzyme called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). PSA enzyme levels rise when a man is experiencing issues with prostate health such as cancer, infection, or inflammation. According to research, when men experience issues with prostate health coupled with symptoms of periodontal disease such as tender, red, or swollen gums, the levels of PSA are even higher, indicating a connection between periodontal health and prostate health.
  • Cancer:  A study of more than 48,000 men found that periodontal disease may be a prominent factor in the development of specific cancers in the male population.  Men may be at higher risk of developing blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer. Research indicates that men run a 30 percent, 54 percent, and 49 percent higher chance than women to develop these cancers, respectively.

According to these statistics, reminding your husband to brush and floss may not be a bad thing!

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.