Tooth decay is preventable. Gum disease is preventable. Oral cancer is preventable. Diseases usually result from a combination of factors specific to the disease. Some diseases are infectious, meaning that they are caused by certain microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa. Many, if not most, diseases or conditions, may have some genetic component. This genetic component may be influenced by exposure to environmental, social, or infectious factors. This means that prevention is unique for each individual and disease. This also means that in spite of appearing to do everything right, disease may still occur. Your dentist can give you an expert assessment of your risk and provide recommendations for improving your odds for a healthy, disease-free mouth.