Can Drinking or Smoking Put Your Cavity Fillings at Risk?
Just like your natural teeth, your fillings need TLC, too.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in the US, and the University of Pernambuco School of Dentistry in Brazil (published in the journal Frontiers of Medicine), found that those who drink alcoholic beverages, as well as men who smoke, are more likely to experience a failed dental/cavity filling.
More specifically, the study found that fillings that were placed within two years failed more frequently in patients who drank alcohol, and the overall filling failure rate was increased in men with a smoking habit.
Another interesting and important discovery: a variation in the gene for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2) enzyme present in the teeth also had a link to increased filling failure.
Filling failures explained
So, we know what can increase the risk of filling failure… but what exactly causes fillings to fail?
Well, fillings can fail for a number of reasons. This includes tooth decay that forms surrounding the filling (known as “secondary caries”), filling detachment/cracks or fractures, or simply from wearing down over time to the point where the filling is no longer sufficient. This is why it’s important to visit our Guelph dentist ideally twice a year to ensure that any fillings or restorations you might have are still in good shape.
While no difference in filling failure rates were discovered between the two types of filling materials studied (silver/amalgam and tooth-coloured/composite resin), it’s still important to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing between materials for your dental filling.
Amalgam has been used for years and years to fill cavities, but may be best for larger areas that aren’t as visible – whereas composite resin, which has been made to be more and more durable over the years, can be used today in both molars and front teeth without being noticeable to others.
The best way to take care of your fillings…
Is to simply take care of your smile! With that said, if it’s been over 6 months since you’ve been in to the dentist’s, it’s time to book another visit. Contact our Guelph dental clinic today to schedule an appointment. We’d be happy to see you!
Dr. Coman Dentistry
85 Norfolk Street, Suite 308
Guelph, ON N1H 4J4