Are Some People More Cavity Prone than Others?

“Oh, I have bad teeth. I get that from my father’s side,” we hear people say. But, is being cavity-prone a genetic trait? What else might be going on? Today, we’re going to talk about why some people might be more cavity-prone than others.

General health

While many dental conditions aren’t specifically genetic, the gene called PAX9 is responsible for the development (or lack of) wisdom teeth.

While many dental conditions aren’t specifically genetic, the gene called PAX9 is responsible for the development (or lack of) wisdom teeth.

Your general health has a significant impact on your oral health. But, does your mouth, which is a soup of bacteria, cause health problems? Or do health conditions cause oral deficiencies and difficulties? Both, according to the Mayo Clinic. Not only can certain diseases make you more cavity prone, but medication used to treat them can also cause dry mouth. Since saliva is a defense against tooth decay, using certain drugs can create the potential for more cavities.

Poor nutrition can also promote cavities as the foods which lack nutrition are also the foods high in sugars and carbohydrates. These foods are instrumental in tooth decay. Better options in food nutrition result in better overall dental health.

Brushing habits

Okay, you might have got this from your father’s side if they were the ones who taught you how and how often to brush your teeth. We talked about brushing and flossing in our last blog.

The basics of brushing and flossing are foundations for those who want to avoid cavities.

Shape of teeth

The shape of a person’s teeth can also play a role in tooth decay. For example, those who have deep crevices. These crevices provide a place for bacteria to reside and plaque to grow. The same is true of those who have weak enamel. Sealants can help to some degree. Those who are concerned can speak to their dentist about sealants.


Oh, sugar, how we love you and how wrong you are for our teeth! Sugar begins feeding cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth immediately, which is why saliva and water are so important. If you want to cut down on sugar’s capacity to give you cavities, brushing after every meal is the best way to accomplish that.


People who grind their teeth are more likely to have dental issues than those who don’t. Stress, sleep-grinding, and other jaw-clenching habits can lead to weaknesses in teeth which promote decay. Those who grind may find meditation or a mouth guard to help prevent future grinding.


While genetics are a powerful force, the genetics of ‘bad teeth’ are more linked to eating habits, brushing habits, and tooth shape, all of which can be countered with the help of education and your friendly dentist. So have no fear, even if you’ve been told that your bad teeth are genetic. We can help you, and you can help yourself! As exciting new developments come forth in dentistry, the things which used to be dental problems will no longer hold the same power as they have in the past, including dental genetics.

If we can help you with your dental care, call and schedule an appointment at our office. Even if you are cavity-prone, our team of dental experts can help you get back on the road to better dental health!

If you need a gentle, caring dental team, please call our office at (623) 362-2550. We’ll give you the very best dental care we can!

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