We already know that women’s oral health is influenced by different periods in their lifecycle – e.g. puberty, pregnancy, menopause. Men’s oral health and its relation to hormonal or lifestyle factors remains less often addressed by studies.
Therefore, we at DentaVox decided to explore people’s awareness of ten popular myths and facts on the topic. The survey was joined by 2693 participants globally.
See below if respondents’ opinions match experts’ findings on these and more curious notions:
#1: Men are less likely to brush their teeth twice a day than women: FACT
Almost 60% of the survey participants believe that men are more likely to skip the recommended two brushing sessions per day. Interestingly, the share of male respondents who believe so is larger than the one of female respondents.
And studies confirm this fact. According to the American Dental Association, the average man is less likely to brush his teeth twice a day (49% compared with 57% for women).
#2: Men are less likely to seek preventive dental care than women: FACT
Preventive checkups and teeth cleanings are the keys to good oral health in the long run. But do men or women understand this better? Most DentaVox survey participants (65%) claim that women are stricter when it comes to seeking preventive care.
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) agrees. According to their observations, rather than seeking preventative dentistry, men often visit a dentist only when they have a problem that needs acute treatment.
#3: Low testosterone levels are good for teeth: MYTH
Although the majority of survey respondents correctly recognize that low testosterone levels are actually bad for oral health, another 13% believe the opposite.
In fact, decreases in testosterone can lead to physical changes such as increased body fat, decreased strength and mass of muscles, fragile bones. It has a negative effect on oral health as well, leading to various conditions illustrated in the graph below.
#4: Men can eat more sugar than women without this leading to cavities: MYTH
A worrying part of DentaVox male respondents (22%) believe they can eat more sugar and be more resistant to cavities, compared to women.
This is a myth. The frequent consumption of sugar – and of acidic foods in general – creates the perfect conditions for the cavity-causing bacteria to flourish. Regardless of age and biological sex, this definitely puts your teeth at a greater risk of tooth decay.
#5: Men have a lower risk of human papillomavirus (HPV): MYTH
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection passed between people through skin-to-skin contact. It often has oral manifestations and can even lead to oral cancer. But is it less probable for men to get it?
Quite the opposite. A study by the University of Texas found more men than women who suffer from the oral manifestation of this virus. In this regard, it is unfortunate to share that 23% of male DentaVox survey respondents do not recognize their greater predisposition to this problem.
#6: Men are less likely to develop oral cancer than women: MYTH
The majority of DentaVox respondents (64%) correctly recognize men’s greater likelihood of getting oral cancer.
According to a fact sheet by the Academy of General Dentistry, men are affected by oral cancer twice as often as women, and 95 percent of oral cancers occur in those aged 40 and older. The risk for smokers is higher than this for non-smokers.
#7: “Superman Syndrome” may have a bad impact on teeth: FACT
The so-called “Superman Syndrome” typical for some men causes ignorance towards multiple health issues due to the self-produced image of being invincible. Naturally, this may lead to having to combat worse issues due to not recognizing the risk timely. Almost half of the survey participants recognize this danger.
Here is an example of how the three I’s of this psychological syndrome can affect (oral) health:
#8: Elderly men usually lose more teeth than women: FACT
A recent survey by DentaVox found that tooth loss is related to income and overall social status. But can biological sex also interfere with the likelihood of losing your teeth with age?
According to the majority of respondents (56%), elderly men lose more teeth than women. This turns out to be the truth, as a study published in the Journal of Aging Research shows. However, factors such as good oral hygiene, no smoking, limited alcohol consumption, and regular dental visits can prevent missing teeth for both men and women.
#9: Reducing alcohol consumption in men improves oral health: FACT
Alcohol is highly acidic. This is the reason why limiting it has a very positive influence on your teeth and 85% of DentaVox survey participants correctly confirm this fact.
As men are more likely than women to drink excessively, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is even more important for them to pay attention to alcohol consumption.
#10: Mouthguards can help prevent dental injuries in sportsmen: FACT
Most of DentaVox respondents rightly point out that wearing mouthguards during sports significantly reduces the risk of dental injuries.
This is also confirmed by a research review published in the National Library of Medicine that found the mouthguard to be the most effective way of preventing such injuries. Interestingly, the risk of such trauma is considerable not only in the so-called contact sports such as rugby and hockey, but also in less obviously dangerous sports such as basketball.
Which of those myths and facts were you aware of?
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Stats source: DentaVox, 20 Questions: Men’s Oral Health
Base: 2693 respondents (global sample)