Gender differences in the usage of healthcare services do exist, but not necessarily in the ways we may expect. Studies have shown that women are more likely to seek out medical services overall, but men are more likely to prioritize certain types of medical care such as emergency services and surgical procedures. Even in the event of a serious illness, roughly 60% of men avoid care.
Additionally, women are more likely to use preventative care services like gynecological exams and mammograms, while men are less likely to seek out routine check-ups. Sex and gender related disparities in oral health follow similar usage patterns. These patterns may be influenced by societal expectations as well as differences in health concerns and risks between genders.
A few examples of how men’s and women’s biology and behavior affect their oral health:
- Men experience more gum disease.
- Women have more cavities.
- Men develop more mouth cancer.
- Women suffer more temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
- Women take better care of their oral health, in general.
Learn more in the Oral Health Report: Differences Between Men & Women.
*While sex refers to biological factors related to genetics, physiology, and anatomy, gender relates to social roles, behaviors, attitudes, and identities.