Have you heard the rumor that beards are full of germs and bacteria? Since the beard is in close proximity to your mouth, could these germs make their way to your mouth and cause problems for your teeth and gums? While the germy beard rumor may just be a myth, there are a couple things bearded men should know about caring for their dental health.
For starters, even if your beard isn’t exactly the cleanest, the best way to care for your mouth is with the same methods your clean-shaven brethren use, which involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each session, flossing daily, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake and getting regular cleanings from your dentist. Washing your beard frequently or using certain antibacterial creams aren’t going to do anything for protecting your teeth.
Dental Problems Caused By Beards
Your beard isn’t going to directly cause any problems for your teeth, but you need to be aware of how your beard can impact your ability to keep your mouth protected. Beards often help to hide our jawline, and that can be an issue. Changes in your jawline, numbness or discoloration are all signals that you may be dealing with a jaw or mouth problem, but these differences can be harder to spot if you have a beard.
So if you have a beard, especially if you aren’t planning on shaving anytime soon, be sure to perform regular health checks of your jawline. Look for the presence of lumps, bruises or changes to your jaw structure. If you notice anything, bring it to the attention of your doctor or dentist.
Another thing you should check for is how far you can open your mouth. Again, this can sometimes be obstructed if you’ve got a bigger beard, but decreases in your ability to open your mouth could signal some serious mouth problems, like mouth cancer. So if you’re having difficulty opening your mouth or the action is accompanied by pain, you’re going to want to talk to a specialist.
So at the end of the day, if you have a beard, take some time throughout the week to look for changes in your jaw structure, but other than that, protecting your mouth comes down to performing basic dental hygiene. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth every day, and don’t skip any upcoming appointments with your dentist! For more information, or to talk to a dentist about a tooth or jaw issue you’ve been having, contact Dr. Brooks’ office today.
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