It's true, men do have deeper pockets than women

People who have healthy, active lifestyles seem to have fewer dental problems, while those who have poor eating habits, smoke and consume alcohol on a regular basis have an unhealthier lifestyle with increased periodontal pocketing, reports the Academy of General Dentistry, an international dental organization with 35,000 members from the United States, its territories and Canada. As members, these dentists are dedicated to continuing education to ensure the best possible dental care to the patient.

Lifestyle greatly affects increased periodontal pockets; these "pockets" are gaps where the gums have receded away from the teeth, exposing the roots. Lifestyle was measured by questioning subjects about dietary habits, smoking habits, alcohol consumption and physical activity. Someone who does not brush and floss or visit their dentist regularly has the potential to increase the amount of tartar and decay in their mouth. This can lead to gum bleeding, severe gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease. Periodontal pocketing increases with diminished toothbrushing frequency and an unhealthy lifestyle. Men do have more periodontal pockets than women, generally because women's dental health habits are better than men's.

"Basically, if you have a healthy outlook on life, you exercise more and have a better attitude about your body, therefore your are probably taking better care of yourself and brushing more often," says Charles H. Perle, DMD, FAGD, a spokesdentist for the Academy.

For example, a smoker who have adverse eating habits and consumes alcohol on fairly regular basis are more likely to be irregular toothbrushers and are obviously not as concerned about their basic health as a nonsmoker who exercises and is more apt to brush and floss regularly.

So if you are practicing a healthy diet with regular exercise, and are a nonsmoker with a low consumption of alcohol, then you generally have a healthier lifestyle that includes a higher toothbrushing frequency.