While men and women have the same oral anatomy, biological and behavioral variations create differences between men’s and women’s oral health.
For instance, women are more likely to get regular dental check-ups, while men tend to go the dentist only when they have to, although married men are more likely to routinely visit the dentist than their single counterparts – because their wives make the appointments for them!
When it comes to oral healthcare at home, women are likely to follow standard guidelines by brushing their teeth twice a day, while men can sometimes be lax in their bushing routine. Women are also more likely to clean their teeth straight after eating a meal.
Because women are more focused on oral healthcare and seeing their dentist regularly, they generally develop fewer serious dental problems. Oral ailments, including gum disease (periodontitis), cancer and tooth decay, often show few warning signs and are painless during the early stages but can be detected during a routine dental check-up.
Oral Health Impact of Gum Disease and Cancer
One dental issue men will never experience, though, is pregnancy gingivitis. Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums that can lead to more serious periodontal disease) is caused during pregnancy by hormonal changes that change the body’s reaction to bacteria.
Women are also at greater risk from gum infections if they take an oral contraceptive and when they go through menopause.
However, women are less susceptible to oral cancer. Studies have confirmed that men are likely to smoke and drink more heavily than women, which increases their risk of developing oral cancer.
Statistics also show that men play contact sports, including football, ice hockey and field hockey, and boxing and martial arts, more often than women, with the associated greater danger of dental trauma through injuries.
Many men suffer dental injuries in sports accidents, many of which could have been prevented by wearing a mouthguard. Kitchener dentist Sherwood Dental says mouthguards are essential to avoid serious damage such as jaw fractures and broken teeth.
Bad Breath and Sleep Apnoea
Bad breath (halitosis) affects both women and men but there may be different reasons for the problem. For example, men are more likely to smoke or take heart or blood pressure medications – all factors that can affect the freshness of the breath.
Men are also more prone to sleep apnoea, a condition in which pauses in breathing temporarily stop air from flowing into the lungs.
How to Prevent Serious Oral Health Issues
Recognising the behavioral and biological factors that can threaten your oral health is crucial to help prevent serious dental problems from arising.
It’s equally important to get regular dental check-ups to make sure there are no issues you may be unaware of. Routine visits to the dentist will also give you the opportunity to get expert advice on your oral healthcare, such as brushing and flossing and, if you smoke, the best way to kick the habit.