New Study Reports Dental Filling Failure Linked with Smoking and Genetics

New research shows that people who drink alcohol or smoke are more likely to suffer a failed dental filling.

The research team reported that a genetic difference in some patients is associated with increased filling failure rates along with drinking and smoking habits. The study was published on November 2017 in journal Frontiers in Medicine. Results of the study reported no major difference in filling failure rates between conventional amalgam and newer composite resin fillings. Genetic analysis can help dentists to personalize treatments for their patients for improved outcomes.

Researchers from America and Brazil accessed a large repository of dental records from a dental school in Pittsburgh, which contained information on patient fillings and rates of failure up to five years after the filling procedure. There are various factors responsible for dental fillings failure, which include reemergence of the initial tooth decay or the filling becoming detached. The repository also contained DNA sample from each patient to allow the team to investigate whether patient lifestyle and genetic factors could affect the failure rate of composite fillings.

The team found that within two years of the procedure, fillings failed more often in patients who drank alcohol, and the overall filling failure rate was higher in men who smoked. Furthermore, a difference in the gene for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2), an enzyme found in teeth, was linked to increased filling failure. The researchers hypothesize that MMP2 might be able to degrade the bond between the filling and the tooth surface, potentially leading to failure.

According to Dental Filling Material Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, sensitivity caused by enamel loss can be significantly improved or completely eliminated once an appropriate dental filling material is used to smoothen the dental surface. Study reveals that smoking, drinking, and genetics can be linked with failure of dental fillings.  However, the results suggest that personal factors for each patient appear to influence their chance of filling failure, rather than type of filling material used for treatment.

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