It’s no secret that tooth decay is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Despite decades of advances made in dental care, however, scientists are still just beginning to fully understand its causes, and how these causes may be addressed more effectively. According to CNN’s Paul Frysh, scientists now believe that some people are simply predisposed to acquiring tooth decay, thanks to their genetic make-up:
“About 60% of the risk for tooth decay appears to be due to genetic factors, says Mary L. Marazita, director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.
Though genetic dentistry is still in its infancy, scientists have identified five areas where genes play a role in tooth decay…”
These five areas are: sweet preference, tooth enamel (i.e. hard or soft), saliva strength (i.e. presence of minerals in saliva), taste ability, and microbiome (i.e. presence of bacteria communities inside the body). As genetic dentistry is still in its early stages, it has yet to identify how these inborn tendencies may be best treated or mitigated.
However, while tooth decay might seem like an inevitability to some people, it doesn’t mean that nothing can be done to fix or control it. If tooth decay has indeed taken a hold, it can be prevented from deteriorating through the skills of dental professionals. Pennsylvanians can turn to the services of a renowned dentist in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania like Dr. James C. DeFinnis of Back Mountain Dental, to save their teeth.
Among the oldest and most effective tools of a dentist are dental fillings. Almost everyone is familiar with these tiny prosthetics designed to close off spaces in the tooth made by decay, physical trauma, and bacteria. However, advances have also been recently made in dental fillings, particularly the use of composite resin as material instead of the traditional amalgam.
Composite resin is becoming preferable because it blends more seamlessly with teeth enamel and is considered much safer than the potentially-toxic metal amalgam fillings. It is also a more convenient alternative since it usually requires just one visit to install.
An experienced dentist in Wilkes-Barre, PA would try to save decayed natural teeth using fillings before resorting to extraction and using replacements. For this reason, regular dental visits are important as it helps dentists uncover the beginnings of tooth decay, and provide preventive treatment before it is too late. This is especially critical to the 60% of the population who may have genetic predisposition to dental problems.