According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are better than men about seeing their physician for routine checkups and are more likely to schedule a doctor visit when feeling sick or injured. Now new research reveals that women are more proactive than men in maintaining their oral health (Journal of Periodontology, April 2011, Vol. 82:4, pp. 558-565).
The study, conducted at Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, included more than 800 participants between the ages of 18 and 19. Participants were asked to complete a written questionnaire concerning lifestyle, dental knowledge, dental attitude, and oral health behaviors. In addition, the participants underwent an oral examination to assess for indicators of periodontal disease.
According to the study findings, women are almost twice as likely to have received a regular dental checkup in the past year. In addition, women were more likely to schedule the recommended treatment following the dental checkup. Women in the study also had better indicators of periodontal health, including lower incidence of dental plaque, calculus, and bleeding on probing; all of which can be used as markers of periodontal disease.
Women also have a better understanding of what oral health entails and a more positive attitude toward dental visits, according to the researchers.
Other findings from the study:
Women are 26% more likely than men to floss on a daily basis.
74% of women would be embarrassed by a missing tooth, a possible consequence of periodontal disease, compared with 57% of men.
Women are almost twice as likely to notice missing teeth on another person than men.
44% of women are aware that periodontists can help contribute to overall good health, compared with 33% of men.