Periodontal Disease: Differences between Men and Women

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There is generally no argument that there are many differences between men and women, mentally, physically and behaviorally, so how do these differences relate to periodontal disease? There is evidence to support some significant differences.

The Journal of Periodontology relates that women are more proactive in maintaining their dental health than men. As a matter of fact, women are twice as likely to visit their dentist on a regular basis, and exhibit lower incidence of dental plaque than men. The Journal’s findings also suggest that women have a better overall understanding of dental health, as well as a more positive attitude when it comes to seeing the dentist.

The American Academy of Periodontology reports that women are 26% more likely than men to floss on a regular basis. 74% of women would be embarrassed to have missing teeth, compared to 57% of men.
44% of women are aware that a periodontist can help to maintain overall good health, compared to 33% of men.

Certain hormonal fluctuations for women throughout life stages can affect their periodontal health. They may be, at times, more susceptible to periodontal disease, including:

1. Puberty: Studies indicate that the increase in hormone levels may lead to an increase in
sensitivity to gum inflammation and can cause the gum tissue to become swollen, red and tender.
2. Menstruation: During menstruation, some women may exhibit gingivitis, which may cause bleeding
gums, redness and inflammation of gum tissue between the teeth.
3. Menopause: Hormonal changes at this time may cause mouth pain including a burning sensation in
the gum tissues or mouth sores.

Men also have certain issues in regard to periodontal health. Studies have shown that men with gum disease are more likely to develop:
1. Kidney cancer
2. Pancreatic cancer
3. Blood cancer
4. Prostate cancer

Men and women alike should strive for good periodontal health by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting their dentist every year. Visit for more information on health and gum disease.