Why Do Men Have More Dental Issues Than Women?
June is Men’s Health Month, which makes it a great time to think about your general wellness and find areas to improve. One aspect of our overall health that tends to be missed is our dental health, which if left unmanaged can affect our physical wellbeing.
For men, developing oral issues happen at a higher rate than women — here’s why:
As men are less likely to go to the dentist, they are also less likely to properly care for their oral health at home. With these two factors combined, it’s no shock that men develop oral issues at a higher rate than women.
Here are some hygiene habit statistics between men and women:
- Men are more likely to only visit the dentist when there is a problem (such as a toothache, or dental emergency.)
- Only 20.5% of men brush their teeth following each meal; nearly 29% of women do.
- Women are more likely than men to brush their teeth twice daily; less than 50% of men do so.
It’s no secret that going to the doctor is fun for anyone — especially the dentist. However, studies have shown that men are much less likely to pull the plug and go to the dentist in comparison to women. An estimated one-third of all men have failed to get a dental check-up in the last year, a number that will greatly increase this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Often, men may not realize they have a dental concern, such as a cavity or gum disease, and in some cases, they may show symptoms but resist going to the dentist. This can not only lead to continued pain, but an increase in the likelihood of significant tooth decay, loss, or even more grave health concerns such as oral cancer.
In addition to letting dental issues go unresolved, men are at an increased risk of these conditions:
According to The American Dental Association, around 34% of men ages 30-54 have gum disease as compared to 23% of women in the same age range. Further research has found that periodontal disease (an advanced form of gum disease), is higher in men (56.4 percent) than in women (38.4 percent).
For men, having good gum health is not only vital to the health of their smile, but also to their prostate and heart health. Additional research has indicated that having periodontal disease may actually increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer, and most people don’t think about the possibility of contracting oral cancer throughout their life. Therefore, they don’t take the necessary steps to check for it regularly.
Oral cancer affects any of the soft tissues in the mouth, including lips, tongue, and cheeks, and throat. The most common risk factors of oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use.
- Alcohol use.
- Marijuana use.
- Patients with HPV.
- Patients 45 years and older.
- Patients who are fair-skinned.
- Patients with a poor diet.
- Patients with graft-versus-host disease.
- Patients that are immunocompromised.
Some studies have linked patients with gum disease to an increased risk of oral cancer — making taking proper care of your smile essential not just to your dental health but also to your overall health.
Scheduling Regular Check-Ups
Whether out of fear or a busy schedule, many men avoid booking their next (or first) dental cleaning. But, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the dental care you need. A regular visit to your dentist can also help to monitor any disease you’re predisposed to, as well as discuss cosmetic options to achieve your ideal smile.
If it’s time for you to have your regular dental exam, don’t skip the appointment or put it off. Having your teeth cleaned now won’t just ensure that your smile is extra bright, it will also keep it healthy!
Family Dentistry in Richardson
At Richardson Dentistry, we believe everyone deserves the highest quality dental care. That’s why we are focused on ensuring the comfort, health, and satisfaction of all our patients. We strive to offer the best dental services in Richardson, from preventative care and family dentistry to sleep apnea treatment, cosmetic dentistry, and more.
Contact us today at (972) 218-0078 to book your appointment, or visit us online.