There’s always been the rumor that women are more prone to cavities than men, but is it true? In short, women are in fact more likely to get cavities, and it’s mainly due to hormones. However, it’s been argued that other factors could potentially play a big role in why women generally have more cavities.
From a cultural standpoint, women are much more likely than men to be the stay at home partner that takes care of the family. In turn, this also means that women have generally been responsible for cooking throughout history. This leads to nibbling, which increases the chances of cavities.
During pregnancy, women often have cravings for sweet foods. This is especially prominent in the third trimester. As most people know, sweet foods increase your chances for cavities due to the high sugar content, and this is a strong argument point in reasoning why women are more prone to cavities.
While there are a few lifestyle changes that could support the fact that women get more cavities than men, hormones seem to be the biggest underlying factor behind it all. The two main hormones that females produce are oestrogen and progesterone.
Oestrogen is a vital sex hormone heavily produced in puberty years for the development of breasts, the uterus, and many other female features. It has also been linked to increase the likelihood of tooth decay. Oestrogen also increases during pregnancy, making sweet foods even more dangerous to consume.
Women hormones also cause them to produce less saliva than their male counterparts. Saliva is a natural way that the body cleans the mouth, and producing less of it will obviously lead to negative results. Lack of saliva is often referred to as xerostomia. Pregnant women are much more likely to have xerostomia occur, further increasing their odds of cavities. The chemical compound of the saliva is also changed and it becomes less potent for cleaning the mouth as its antimicrobial capacity declines.
The Bright Side
While it’s true that naturally women are more likely to get cavities, that doesn’t mean that their oral hygiene is less than men’s. Men are much more likely to get gum diseases because they brush and floss less frequently than the average female. While it’s true that men have to put less effort into oral hygiene to stay healthy, a larger portion of men will do just that. Women take better care of their mouth overall, and it’s mainly nature’s fault for the statistical advantage that men have with oral hygiene.
Women overall have a higher chance of cavities, but pregnant women stomp the average person statistically. While pregnant, it’s vital that you take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing after each meal. Mouth wash is also a good option after brushing just to make sure you eliminate all bacteria, but be careful not to swallow or use it too often since the alcohol content can harm a child. Luckily, women are more responsible with their oral hygiene and it does help balance the scales a little bit.