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Tooth Decay Risk Factors

It might seem unfair but some people are more prone to tooth decay than others, even if everyone undergos the same tooth cleaning routine every single day. There are factors in your mouth and teeth that contribute to the decay. Knowing these factors can help you determine how to better prevent this unwanted condition.

Saliva not only helps digest, and wash food particles away; it also keeps plaque from sticking to your teeth. A dry mouth makes the teeth more prone to decay. Dry mouth is a symptom common to those afflicted with Sjogren's syndrome. It affects the saliva glands, producing a lower amount of saliva.

Enamel Thickness

Some people have thicker teeth enamel than others, making them less prone to tooth decay because the cavity will take longer to break through. Tooth enamel is the hardest part of the human body, and is the tooth's primary defense from cavities. The more of it you have, the less likely you are to have cavities.

Shape and Size of Teeth

Large teeth that have shallower, and less grooves, are less prone to cavity formation, compared to small teeth that have deeper, and more pits. Pits and grooves on the teeth are places for plaque to build-up, and they are also more difficult to brush or clean thoroughly. This factor is genetically predetermined so those born with small teeth. These people need to put forth more effort in cleaning their teeth, and should also make more frequent visits to their dentists in Annapolis, Maryland.

Tooth Eruption Sequence

You are more prone to tooth decay if your permanent teeth have appeared early in life, because you may not have developed good oral hygiene at that point in time. That is why it is important to take care of baby teeth so they stay longer, and let the permanent teeth grow later in life. Teaching proper oral hygiene to toddlers also makes sure that they carry-on with the habit as they get older.

Tooth Bite and Position

Overlapping, crooked teeth are harder to clean, thus providing more areas for food particles to accumulate, and build-up plaque. More plaque means greater risk for tooth decay. This condition also leads to an abnormal bite, wherein the teeth grind against each other, leading to an early wear on the teeth enamel. When the enamel is destroyed, dentin, the tooth's next layer, is exposed. Since this layer is significantly softer than enamel, it does not provide much protection to prevent the cavity from going through the tooth's interior.

A visit to the dentist can help determine if you have these risk factors. An abnormal bite, for example, can be corrected through orthodontics, while the effects of the other factors can be minimized through a better cleaning routine.


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