Do Women Take Better Care of Their Teeth than Men?

women and teeth careRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

We know that men are more predisposed to certain health conditions than women. It might be time to add gum disease to that list. According to research cited by the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease is more prevalent among men than women, found in 56.4% of men and 38.4% of women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that head and neck cancers, including oral cancer, are more than twice as common among men as women. Additional research indicates that men are less diligent about their oral care, increasing their risk of both cavities and tooth loss. In this article, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, a Royal Oak family dentist, explores this trend in more detail and explains the importance of good dental hygiene.

Why are men at higher risk of oral health issues?

  • Fewer dental visits – It’s recommended to see your dentist in Royal Oak every six months for a check-up and cleaning. However, men are less likely to follow through with these dental appointments. One study of young adults found that women were almost twice as likely to have gone to their dentist for a check-up within the past year. Why the disparity? It could stem from personal or social reasons.
  • Smokeless tobacco – Chewing tobacco and vaping pose a considerable risk to your oral health and elevate your chances of oral cancer. The vast majority of smokeless tobacco users are men, representing about 5% of all American male adults, according to the CDC.
  • Lifestyle choices – Participating in contact sports elevates your susceptibility to dental injuries such as cracked, chipped, or avulsed (knocked out) teeth. Roughly 20% of the American male population participates in sports each year, based on data from Harvard.

As studies show, men are more likely to need emergency dental care based on the potential risks of their lifestyle choices, from smoking more to engaging in sports more often than women. Preventive dental care can help reduce the need for emergency dental treatment and uncovers problems in their earliest stage, preserving more of your natural tooth structure with repairs.

Follow this regimen for good dental health

At Hartrick Dentistry, we believe in the mouth-body connection. That means good oral health is crucial to having good overall health.

We recommend this dental hygiene routine to all of our patients in Royal Oak and Birmingham:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day. When brushing, clean your teeth in small, circular motions and run your brush along the gum line, too. Make sure to change out your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head once every three to four months or when your toothbrush shows signs of wear—whichever comes first. You also want to switch to a new toothbrush if you have been sick.
  • Floss once a day. When you floss, be sure to run the floss between your teeth and along the sides and bottom of teeth using a “c” motion.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once per day.
  • If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, make some changes to your diet or talk to your doctor about controlling your reflux with antacids or other medications. These acids accumulate on teeth and can wear away your tooth enamel.
  • Stay proactive about your dental care by seeing your dentist every six months for a check-up. Each of these visits should include a professional dental cleaning and an examination of your teeth and mouth. Regular check-ups on the recommended schedule help your dentist identify changes and potential problems with your oral health early, often making for a less intensive and less costly treatment.

Preventive Dentistry in Royal Oak and Birmingham

Dr. Nancy Hartrick believes that everyone deserves a lifetime of good oral health. Give yourself the best chance of healthy teeth by brushing and flossing each day, and see your dentist every six months. If you’ve let your regular schedule of dental care lapse during the pandemic, now represents a great time to get back on track. Call Hartrick Dentistry today at (248) 549-0950 to schedule your consultation.

Posted in Oral Health