The 5 causes of tooth decay
There are five main causes of tooth decay. By using pattern recognition you will be able to identify these “usual suspects” in your own patients.
If you’ve ever listened to Dr. Kim Kutsch speak, he has likely mentioned the “usual suspects” at one time or another. “One of the things I’ve always tried to teach in the last few years is really to learn to understand the patterns that we typically see with dental caries and learn how to identify those patterns. That leads you into an easier understanding of where we’re going to go with this patient and how do we help them.”
Saliva— 63%* of patients have a salivary issue, most commonly caused by medications. This is the most common usual suspect.
Diet— 55%* of patients have a dietary issue. This can mean either eating too much sugar, or eating too frequently
Bacteria— 51%* of patients have an elevated bacterial load
Genetics— genetic influences have been identified in the last 3-4 years
pH— dental caries is bacterial in origin but it’s a disease that results in prolonged periods of low pH in the mouth that results in net mineral loss from the teeth
*These percentages are based on a private practice research study. Six private practices have been followed for over 2 years, gathering data from over 12,000 patients.