Risk Factors for Poor Oral Health

Poor Oral Health

Risk Factors for Poor Oral Health

We brush floss and rinse everyday – 3 simple steps that are supposed to keep our teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime but for many of us this is not always so.

According to the World Health Organisation;

  • Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities, often leading to pain and discomfort.
  • Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults
  • Complete loss of natural teeth is widespread and particularly affects older people. Globally, about 30% of people aged 65–74 have no natural teeth.

These statistics can be attributed to a number of factors. Some, such as aging, and genes and even fluctuating hormones, are beyond your control, but the most common causes of tooth decay and periodontal disease stem from lifestyle choices.

A high sugar diet

Eating a diet consisting of lots of sugar and starch.

Sticky foods such as raisins, cookies, or even plain white bread especially can be a problem because they are more likely to remain on the surface of the teeth.

Frequent snacking which increases the amount of time that these acids are in contact with the teeth. (Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour so it is important to limit sweets and sugary drinks to mealtimes only, which limits the amount of time your mouth is at risk).

Modern processed foods can be low in vitamins A, D and K, which are critically important for optimum development of the teeth and jawbones

Poor dental hygiene practices

Poor dental hygiene is the number one way we weaken healthy teeth and that is why it is critical to brush and floss at least twice each day in an effort to mechanically reduce this from happening.

(Dull, yellowed teeth, cavities, and gum disease are all caused by the buildup of plaque and later down the track tarter.)


Although we are constantly reminded that smoking cigarettes can cause a wide variety of serious, even life-threatening diseases few people realize that it can also lead to both tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Smoking appears to interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells thus making smokers more susceptible to infections like periodontal disease.

It also impairs blood flow to the gums, which may affect wound healing and it also increases the risk of developing oral cancer.

There is some ‘sweet’ news though and it comes in the form of xylitol. By adding this naturally produced product to your normal dental routine you can help keep your teeth and gums and whole body healthy.