It’s no surprise that men and women have distinct health needs, but you may not realize that this also extends to their oral health.
While their mouth structure is the same, there are some distinct oral health differences and risk factors for men and women that you may not know about. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between women’s oral health and men’s oral health so you can understand more about your mouth.
Good oral hygiene leads to good oral health. From brushing twice a day to flossing, studies have shown that women are better at taking care of their oral hygiene. In a survey of 1,000 Americans, 86% of women said they brush their teeth twice a day, while only 66% of men said the same.
Women are also more likely to regularly visit the dentist for cleanings and routine checkups (along with being proactive about scheduling their next appointment).
For these reasons, women’s oral health tends to be better overall than men’s oral health.
Sports are one of the many risk factors of dental trauma such as tooth fractures, chips, or even knocked-out teeth. More men play more contact sports than women, like football, boxing, and soccer, and therefore they are more vulnerable to these severe dental accidents.
Also, men, in general, are more likely to participate in dangerous activities (like speeding or extreme sports like mountain biking) that can also cause dental harm.
To prevent this trauma, both men and women should wear mouthguards while playing any sport.
Sudden Dental Problems
Women’s oral health is also affected by pregnancy. According to the CDC, pregnant women may be at risk for cavities due to changes in behaviors, such as eating habits, and nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis. Hormonal changes are attributed to this sudden onset of dental problems that are unique to women.
Overall, however, men experience more dental problems due to immediate trauma and/or not taking care of their oral health consistently.
Oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as in women. The American Cancer Society explains that the lifetime risk of developing oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer is: about 1 in 60 (1.7%) for men and 1 in 140 (0.71%) for women.
Much of this can be attributed to lifestyle choices, namely that men are more likely to smoke than women, which is a leading contributor to oral cancer.
About Newton Smile Centre
As you can see, the differences between men’s and women’s oral health are mostly behavioral. The actual structure of teeth, gums, tongue, and jaw are truly the same regardless of gender. Maintaining good oral health, no matter if you’re a man or a woman, is all about being proactive about visiting the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
At Newton Smile Centre, our team of dentists is experienced with all kinds of dental problems that affect both men and women.