Dental caries or cavities are caused by a combination of factors, such as improper oral hygiene maintenance, frequent snacking, decreased immunity, etc. However, there are some people who are more prone to having a dental cavity than others.
What are the risk factors for a cavity?
Everyone is at risk of getting cavities, but there are certain factors due to which the risk increases. There are three significant factors that increase the likelihood of a cavity, namely, diet, microflora and a susceptible tooth. The risk factors can be categorized as local and general. The general risk factor comprises geographical location, race, sex, and social class. The local risk factors include salivary flow, form and arrangement of teeth, and oral hygiene.
What role does diet play in dental caries?
Diet plays a significant role in tooth decay. Many experts believe that the consumption of food items like sugar, soda, etc. that cling to your teeth for a longer period can cause a dental cavity. The total consumption of sugar and the frequency of its intake significantly contributes to the onset of tooth decay.
Also, the frequency of its consumption plays an important role. This is because when a person frequently eats, the bacteria in the mouth get more fuel to produce acids. These acids attack the teeth and eventually wear them down.
What are the reasons that make teeth more cavity-prone?
Other reasons why a person’s teeth are more cavity-prone can be improper oral hygiene maintenance ( inadequate brushing, lack of flossing, etc.), inadequate fluoride consumption (as fluoride prevents cavities), dry mouth, worn fillings or dental devices, diseases, such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease causes the acid present in the stomach to flow into your mouth (reflux), which wears away the tooth enamel and damages the teeth) and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, which causes repeated vomiting and can damage the enamel and can even affect saliva production.
Lastly, another major factor is the tooth shape, alignment, and composition. Teeth have lots of grooves, pits and crannies, and multiple roots, such as the molars, which can trap food and cause caries. Similarly, teeth that are misaligned can collect bacteria and the between them as they are harder to clean.
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