Men and women have obvious differences, but did you know that oral health is different between genders? While anatomically, men and women have the same features, such as teeth, jaws, and gums, it’s what goes on with the rest of the body that is the difference. Both men and women are susceptible to periodontal disease and oral cancer, but you may be surprised to learn about oral health differences and how it impacts the rest of the body!
Women experience hormonal changes throughout life. It starts with puberty (everybody’s favorite, said no parent ever!), and it changes again during pregnancy, after pregnancy, throughout breastfeeding venture (if you choose to go this route), and again during menopause. These hormone fluctuations can have a significant impact on a woman’s oral health, specifically her gums. Of these changes, pregnancy can take the biggest toll on a woman’s oral health.
Oral health risks
Nearly 60 to 70% of women experience early signs of gum disease known as gingivitis during pregnancy. Untreated, this can lead to severe complications for both mom and the unborn baby. These risks even could lead to premature birth or low birth weight for the baby. Since poor oral hygiene can exacerbate gingivitis, it is essential for pregnant women to take good care of their teeth and gums, and notify the dentist at the first signs of any problems such as sore or bleeding gums.
Men have different risk factors. While women are more prone to gum disease during pregnancy, men have their own set of risks to be aware of. For instance, men have a higher risk for oral cancer, throat cancer, oral HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), and sleep apnea. However, note that anyone of any age could develop one of these oral health concerns, men just bear a higher risk. Good news, your family dentists in Boaz offer screenings for these!
Women tend to be more proactive about their oral care than men. One study claims women are nearly twice as likely as men to have visited the dentist within the past year. Also, women tend also to have a better attitude toward practicing oral care at home, such as brushing and flossing daily, while men tend to slack in this area more than women.
Men tend only to go to the dentist when they experience pain or a dental emergency. Married men tend to take better care of their oral health than single men, which is likely due to their wives making dental appointments for them. Dental appointments tend not to be all that important for men, although they should be!
Bad breath – it’s different for men and women
Bad breath is a significant warning sign of poor oral hygiene and gum disease but also could indicate an underlying medical concern. Studies reveal that men are more likely to smoke than women, which also can cause bad breath, among other oral health concerns. Bad breath also could be a side effect from medications such as what is used to treat high blood pressure, which is more common among men. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to experience bad breath from gum disease.
If you experience bad breath, it also could indicate a sinus infection, from eating pungent foods, or tonsil stones. These culprits could affect your oral health, regardless if you are a man or a woman.
Dentists in Boaz
It is essential for everyone, men, women, and even children, to practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. At Wall Street Dentistry, we offer complete oral care for the entire family. We would love to meet with you, discuss your smile goals, and help get you on track for a healthy and beautiful smile. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office by calling (256) 878-0525. We serve the communities of Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville, Alabama.