A risk factor is a proven disease indicator. Dental risk factors include a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates as well as dry mouth; while protective factors include fluoride in the local water supply, toothpaste, and vitamin supplements. Protective factors can also include good saliva flow and dental sealants.

Risk Factors

  • A diet high in starch and sugar
  • Bacteria
  • Dry mouth
  • Vulnerable and/or susceptible teeth
  • Cultural consideration
  • Poor oral hygiene habits

Protective Factors

  • Dental sealants
  • Healthy saliva flow
  • Fluoride
  • Antimicrobials
  • Xylitol