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Genetics, Drinking and Smoking May Damage A Patient’s Dental Fillings

Lifestyles That Cause Fillings To Fail

A study published in Frontiers in Medicine took a look at amalgam and composite fillings as well as a few of the circumstances which might cause them to fail.

Some of the variables examined included alcohol consumption, smoking, age, sex, diabetes, periodontal health, and genes. 4,856 patients’ dental records over 5 years were looked at for the research project.

Highlights of the study include:

Composite and amalgam dental fillings have near equal durability

Composite fillings are the more recent, tooth-colored fillings, while amalgam is the familiar silver tooth fillings which have been used for over 150 years. In the course of their look into fillings, the researchers found that the failure rates for amalgam and composite filings were about the same, with the more modern composite fillings doing a little better (about 2%).

Dental fillings have a greater chance of failing for those who drink and male smokers

Of the lifestyle factors included in the study, smoking and alcohol use was revealed to have the greatest link with dental filling failures. After having fillings for two years, the rate of failure was highest for patients who regularly drank alcohol and in male smokers.

An individual’s genes might be a factor for failed fillings

Researchers involved in the study examined a gene for MMP2 (matrix metalloproteinase), which is an enzyme which is found in teeth. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2) might undermine the attachment between the teeth and fillings, the research team claimed. The team suggested that an individual’s DNA might, in the future, be more important in dentistry. Alexandre Vieira, a member of the team, said: “In the future, genetic information may be used to personalize dental treatments and enhance treatment outcomes.”

The results of the study support the idea that composite fillings should be seen as an excellent alternative to amalgam fillings. The correlation between smoking and drinking and the failure of dental fillings are something dental patients may like to think about as well.

Haven’t had your dental fillings checked out recently? Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Sulken or Dr. Kinn now!

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