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Oral Health Research Restorative Dentistry

Are women more at risk for caries prevalence?

This summary is based on the article published in the Dental Clinics of North America: The Impact of Gender on Caries Prevalence and Risk Assessment (April 2013)

Esperanza Angeles Martinez-Mier,Fluoride Research Program, Indiana University School of Dentistry and Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Binational/Cross-Cultural Health Enhancement Center, Oral Health Research Institute, Indiana University School of Dentistry

Andrea Ferreira Zandona,Graduate MSD/MS Preventive Dentistry Program, Early Caries Research Program, Indiana University School of Dentistry, and Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Oral Health Research Institute


  • Women are at a higher risk for caries prevalence due to biologic and cultural influences, including behavioral and dietary variations. Biologic influences include past caries experience, tooth type, saliva flow, and age. Cultural influences include race, culture, ethnicity, income, and educational level. 
  • Gender socio-cultural differences influence their oral health status through their exposure to risk factors as well as access to preventive oral health care.
  • Gender biological differences in relation to oral health are still understudied.
  • Evidence is insufficient to make a definite statement about gender differences and dental caries.


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1 Comment

  1. ajit auluck August 6, 2013

    Interesting research area. Gender is a social -construct and I can imagine that socioal norms and occupations like cooking or baking will impact upon the sugar intake and indirectly upon the caries rates among women. While I know caries has multi-factorial etiology, I would be interested to know how different factors are ranked or arranged in its etiology e.g., how we rank bio-medical raisk facros and socio-cultural risk factors. This will be important for clinicians to reduce the most significant factors while counselling patients to redue their caries risk. Thanks


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