There are many different factors that influence how likely a tooth is to get cavities. While we all know the different ways to prevent cavities like brushing and flossing your teeth & seeing your dentist twice a year, it can be helpful to understand risk factors for cavities. Three different risk factors to consider are the type of teeth, the shape of the teeth, and the role genetics can play into cavities forming.
Again, the best way to prevent cavities is to catch them early. Scheduling a routine appointment with a dentist can help prevent a cavity from forming or treat a cavity before decay spreads deeper into the tooth or into other nearby teeth.
There are a few different types of teeth in our mouth. Incisors, canines, premolars, and molars are the four groups that are often used to describe teeth. The incisors are the eight teeth (four on the top and four on the bottom) that are in the front of our mouths. The canines are the four teeth (two on the top and two on the bottom) that are next to the incisors and are sometimes pointed. The premolars and molars are the back 16 (20 if you include wisdom teeth) teeth that are used for chewing food. The premolars and molars (especially the molars) often have natural divets. Molars have a concave section that food can often get stuck-in. The chewing surface of molars is therefore one of the most vulnerable to cavities.
Another thing to consider is that we often notice when food is stuck between our front teeth, but not our back teeth. Some people also clean and floss their front teeth more often or with better technique than the farthest back molars. Taken together, our back teeth are at a greater risk of decay because of how easy food can get stuck back there and how difficult it can be to remove it.
As we mentioned, molars are often at greater risk for cavities. But there are a variety of ways you can protect those teeth from damage. They include:
One confusing aspect of dental decay for many people is that it isn’t just oral care or diet that influences your likelihood to get cavities. While bad oral health or poor diet can definitely increase that risk, there are other factors that should be considered. For example, genetics can affect the shaping of your teeth. Like we mentioned before, one thing that makes molars especially vulnerable to decay is the natural divets in these teeth. Teeth with unique geometry can be at a higher risk for dental decay .
If you live in the Greater Boston area or in Revere Massachusetts and need a family dentist for your yourself or your kids, please give us a call. Nothing beats the benefits of seeing a dentist in person for your oral health. Call us or use our online appointment scheduling to get started!
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