5 Factors Increasing the Risk of Developing Tooth Decay


Tooth decay is the process by which bacteria gradually destroy a tooth. The bacteria produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel, causing cavities. In the long run, untreated tooth decay can cause other oral health concerns like gum disease, tooth loss, infection, and severe pain. However, aside from its common causes like terrible oral hygiene and an unhealthy diet, there are more factors affecting the severity of tooth decay. Here are some ideas.

1. Tooth Location

The position of your tooth also plays a role in the severity of tooth decay. The back teeth (molars) are usually the ones that are affected the most since they are the hardest to reach when brushing. The front teeth (incisors) are also at risk but to a lesser extent. Meanwhile, unusual cases like erupting wisdom teeth can also experience tooth decay due to food stuck underneath the gums. Sometimes, going in the gaps and spaces inside the mouth should do more than simply brushing the teeth at least twice a day.

2. Worn-Out Dental Devices

Worn-out dental devices can also cause tooth decay because they trap food and bacteria in the spaces between the teeth and gums. Dental devices like dentures, bridges, and crowns are usually made of materials that are not as strong as natural teeth. If they are not adequately taken care of, they can quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria. Make sure to clean them regularly and bring them to the dentist for check-ups.

3. Age

Age is also a factor that can contribute to tooth decay. As we age, our teeth become more brittle and susceptible to damage. The enamel that protects our teeth also wears down, making them more vulnerable to decay. Tooth decay is also more common in older adults because they are more likely to have dry mouth, which decreases saliva production. Saliva is important because it helps wash away food and bacteria from the teeth. It also contains minerals that can help strengthen tooth enamel.

4. Heartburn / GERD

Heartburn is a common condition that can cause tooth erosion. It happens when stomach acid rises into the esophagus. It can cause a burning sensation in the chest and throat and damage tooth enamel. When stomach acid comes into contact with the teeth, it can dissolve the enamel, leading to tooth erosion.. If you suffer from heartburn, you must see a doctor and take steps to protect your teeth from damage.

5. Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can also lead to tooth decay. They can contribute to tooth decay because they can cause a decrease in saliva production and an increase in acidity in the mouth. People with eating disorders often don’t eat a balanced diet and may lack essential nutrients for dental health. They may also purge (vomit) after eating, which can increase the risk of tooth decay in the same way that GERD does. Treating eating disorders can often become challenging for people. However, with meticulous oral hygiene and professional help from both mental health professionals and dentists, they can reduce  developing dental problems while overcoming mental health issues.


Tooth decay is a common condition that can cause serious problems. It can lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss. If you think you may have tooth decay, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can often prevent tooth decay from becoming more serious. Meanwhile, knowing the causes and risk factors of tooth decay can help you take steps to avoid it.

Voted as Grater Toronto Area’s “best dentist” in 2019 and 2020, Marketplace Dentistry aims to maintain high-quality dental services in Vaughan and Richmond Hill. We offer family and cosmetic dentistry in the area, helping patients recover their smiles from oral concerns they might have. Work with a family dentist today and prevent tooth decay from ruining your smile.