Dental Health

Assess Your Risk


Dental disease is a growing concern for us and our children. Luckily, it can be prevented and treated with a variety of methods. Take the quiz below to find out if you are at risk for dental disease.

1. I have diabetes.
A higher incidence of periodontal gum disease is seen in patients with diabetes. You may require two or more cleaning visits each year in order to maintain your periodontal health. Brushing twice daily and flossing once daily are also very important in reducing your risk of further gum disease.
Yes
No
2. I take prescription or over-the-counter medications.  Medications may cause dry mouth.
Some medications may cause dry mouth, which can increase your risk for cavities. If you are experiencing dry mouth, please ask your pharmacist if this could be caused by your medication. Your dentist may recommend saliva substitutes and/or additional therapies to help decrease your cavity risk.
Yes
No
3. I have had a cavity in the last three years.
Past dental disease may be an indicator of risk for future dental disease. You should discuss a preventive regimen with your dentist or hygienist which may include one or more of the following: twice daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, fluoride treatments, home fluoride rinses, and dental sealants for unfilled molars with deep pits and grooves. In addition, he/she may recommend reducing your consumption of foods that contain sugar.
Yes
No
4. I frequently eat or drink sugary substances.
Frequent consumption of foods that contain sugar is a major risk factor for tooth decay. The longer and more frequently these foods stay in your mouth, the greater the risk of decay. For example, slowly dissolving sugars such as hard candies, cough drops, breath mints, and antacid tablets pose a greater risk for decay. Of course, the more sugar you consume between meals, the more your risk increases.
Yes
No
5. I put my baby to bed with a bottle containing milk or juice.
Putting your child to bed with a bottle containing formula, milk, or juice can put the child at risk for Early Childhood Tooth Decay. Bacteria in the mouth convert the sugar to acid, which attacks tooth surfaces and causes decay. Early Childhood Tooth Decay is characterized by multiple cavities on a child's front teeth. Discuss how to prevent Early Childhood Tooth Decay with your pediatrician and/or dentist.
Yes
No
6. I have had or will have had head and neck radiation treatment.
Head and neck radiation treatment reduces blood flow and can cause extremely dry mouth, which puts one at high risk for cavities. In addition, if one's immune system is compromised, they may experience more frequent cold sores or other infections of the mouth. If you are having radiation treatment of the head and neck, you should discuss a treatment plan with your dentist and oncologist, which may include a saliva substitute, removal of compromised teeth, or other preventive therapies.
Yes
No
7. I smoke cigarettes, a pipe, a cigar, or I chew tobacco.
Tobacco and alcohol are the leading risk factors for oral cancer. Together, they are associated with 75% of all oral cancers. Your dentist should perform an examination for oral cancer at your regular check-up. In addition, smoking is an independent risk factor for periodontal (gum) disease. If you do smoke, you should discuss quitting with your dentist and physician.
Yes
No
8. I have had periodontal (gum surgery) which has left me with receded gums.
Gum surgery can expose the roots of teeth, leaving one at increased risk for root cavities. Talk to your dentist about the benefits of fluoride treatments following periodontal surgery.
Yes
No
9. I live in a community that does not have fluoride in the water supply.
Fluoride in the water supply helps to reduce cavities because the incorporation of fluoride into the tooth enamel allows the tooth to be more resistant to decay.
Yes
No

If you answered YES to any of the above statements, you or your child may be at an increased risk for dental disease. Please print this page or download our Health Risk Assessment and bring it to your dentist to discuss how you can work together to reduce your risk.

Please note: Not all recommended services are covered by dental insurance plans.