New study ‘could lead to dentistry breakthrough’
The chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation has suggested a new study of genetics and tooth decay could prevent the need for emergency dentistry.
Dr Nigel Carter said the findings, published in the Journal of Dental Research earlier this month, are likely to “pave the way for some interesting breakthroughs”.
The US study indicated that an individual’s risk of tooth decay is influenced by variations in the taste pathway genes, as well as other factors such as dental care routines and diet.
It found a connection between the taste genes TAS2R38 and TAS1R2 and the likelihood of suffering from dental decay.
Dr Carter pointed out that this area of research is still in the early stages, but suggested it could have significant implications for emergency dentistry.
“If we can tell in advance who is most at risk, then more preventive care can be given to protect those patients,” he said.
The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University.