Adult Caries

 Risk factors shared by adults & children include:

  • High bacterial counts
  • Family history of caries
  • Frequent consumption of sugar-containing foods and beverages
  • Inadequate fluoride
  • Poor oral hygiene practices and behaviors
  • Low socioeconomic status

In addition, adult caries is accelerated by the burdens of the aging process, disease, and treatments.

Physical Disabilities

  • Make brushing and other oral hygiene activities more difficult

Existing Restorations or Appliances

  • Markers for previous caries and a risk factor for future caries
  • Appliances can trap food and plaque
  • Most likely site of caries in an adult

Decreased Salivary Flow

  • Caused by disease or medication
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) places a patient at much higher caries risk


  • Increase caries risk by:
    • Decreasing saliva flow
    • High levels of sucrose
      • Sweetened medications such as syrups may increase sugar exposure

Examples of severe caries and broken and decayed teeth

Steven Lepowsky, DDS
Steven Lepowsky, DDS
John McDowell, DDS
John McDowell, DDS
Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS
Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS