How Healthy Is A Man's Beard?
It’s rumored that facial hair just serves as a house for bacteria. This rumor has been proven FALSE in several studies and the trending belief is that a well-kept beard has similar amounts of germs as does a clean-shaved face.
Beards tend to get a bad reputation but the bacteria they contain are not much different from the rest of the bacteria on our skin. If the bacteria is similar, then what is their biggest effect to oral health?
What is a beard’s biggest effect to oral health?
The #1 problem facial hair creates to the oral cavity is that it hides visual clues! Beards hide the jawline which can make it more difficult to spot any changes in that area. Oral infections can spread and may cause visible swelling that can help doctors and dentists find out the source of the medical issue. Visual and manual inspection of the jaw and chin area can help men become aware of any changes and should make assessments part of their regular hygiene routine. Any lumps or pain in the neck area should always be evaluated by a medical professional.
Lumps and pain in the jaw area or inside the mouth may be caused by:
– Abscessed tooth – occurs when an untreated cavity spreads
– Allergies – reactions (even to beard products) can cause swelling and soreness
– Swollen lymph nodes – lymph nodes are located on both sides of the jawline and may become inflamed when fighting an infection
– Tumors & cysts – may or may not be of dental origin; regardless, they should be evaluated as soon as discovered
– Oral cancer
How can men prevent their beard from affecting their oral health?
Proper hygiene is the best and easiest way to prevent spreading bacteria. Its recommended for men to wash their beard 2-3x/week with shampoo and to brush it regularly. Proper beard hygiene also depends on the person’s skin and hair type. Don’t shave your beard just for your next dental appointment, but do make sure to keep it clean.
Are you ready for your next cleaning or have you been ignoring a painful toothache? Dr. Monteiro is accepting new patients and is excited to meet you! Call 904-348-0416 to speak with a member of the River Oaks Dental team and schedule your next appointment.