The Gender Gap: Who Has Better Oral Health, Men or Women?

Man and woman arm-wrestlingIn almost every measure of oral health, women win the battle of the sexes. Compared to men, women are:

  • Almost twice as likely to have had a dental checkup in the last year
  • Almost twice as likely to notice a missing tooth
  • 17% more likely to be embarrassed by having a missing tooth themselves
  • 26% more likely to floss on a daily basis
  • 11% more aware that visiting a periodontist can contribute to good overall health

Additionally, women brush their teeth more, have better gum health, and a more positive attitude overall towards dentistry and oral health. So what’s a guy to do to catch up?

Schedule a dental checkup every six months: Dental checkups can include everything from a cleaning to screening for oral cancer—men have twice the oral cancer rate of women. This may be in part due to their lower incidence of dental checkups. Early detection is essential to successful cancer treatment, and it only adds about five minutes to your checkup.

Brush and floss on a regular basis: You should brush two times a day, and floss every night before going to bed. Rinse well with water after coffee, tea, soda, and anything else that’s sugary or acidic. Use mouthwash after you floss, and don’t eat or drink anything after that.

Seek prompt treatment for missing teeth: When you lose a tooth, you start to lose jawbone mass in the empty socket. Prompt treatment saves your jaw and, if your tooth was knocked out in an accident, might even save your tooth!

See a periodontist: Untreated gum disease leads to lost teeth and lost bone. Early treatment is more predictable and cost effective than waiting until the disease advances. If your gums are red, tender, or swollen, or if they bleed during brushing or flossing, you’ve got gum disease. Ordinary brushing and flossing cannot reach infection or plaque below the gum line—it must be professionally treated.

Dr. Ann Kania is a periodontist operating in the San Diego area. Using the latest in dental technology, Dr. Kania specializes in gum disease, dental implants, and bone grafts. She also offers routine dental care such as checkups, cleanings, and oral cancer screenings. If you haven’t seen a dentist in the last six months, you’re due for a checkup. Call our office today at (760) 642-0711 to schedule your appointment.