Gender: The Dichotomous Variable in Oral Health Research: Edentulism in adults

Prof Charlene W. J. Africa,
Jairam Reddy
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Few studies on general well-being have compared the differences in oral health between men and women. Although studies from Europe and USA have reported that there are more edentulous women than men, there are many factors which may contribute to this including poverty, availability and accessibility to dental and other health care as well as cultural traditions. Periodontal disease, which attacks the gums and supporting structures of the tooth, is one of the major causes of tooth loss in adults. This study examined a population living in a high fluoride area near Cape Town. This isolated community with its male-dominated cultural values, has until recently been unexposed to the diets and habits of the western world and have inter-married for decades. The results of this study indicated that women had better oral hygiene practices than men and that tooth loss was associated with age rather than gender.

Keywords: Gender and Well-being
Stream: First Nations and Indigenous Peoples, Sexuality, Gender, Families, Science, Environment and the Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof Charlene W. J. Africa

Professor, Medical Biosciences
Faculty of Science, University of the Western Cape

South Africa

I have worked in the areas of pathology (both research and diagnostic laboratories), environmental microbiology, food microbiology and in pharmaceutical companies as a quality control microbiologist. I am currently an educator presenting both undergraduate and postgraduate modules in medical microbiology. I lecture to science and dentistry students as well as other students in the health sciences. I am involved in gender equity issues on the campus and am a member of the Senate Employment Equity Forum whom I represent on appointment and promotion committees of the Faculty and Senate. I have presented papers at several national and international conferences and have worked in research laboratories abroad. My research interest is women's health and the impact it has on the unborn and new-born infant. My postgraduate students are working on projects covering environmental, physical and social factors which may contribute to the well-being (or lack of it) of women.

Jairam Reddy

Director, International Leadership Institute, United Nations University

He qualified as a dentist then proceeded to specialise in the area of periodontology. He worked and studied in Europe for several years before joining the University of the Western Cape where he served as the Dean of Dentistry for many years. He then left to join the University of Durban-Westville as vice-rector after which he took up the position of Director at the International Leadership Institute in Jordan. He has publish extensively in the area of periodontology and continues to collaborate in research with the University of the Western Cape. He has presented many papers at national and international conferences.

Ref: H06P0188