Dr. Stanley L. Dunn and Dr. Robert B. Johnson of the University of Pittsburgh have published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine that looks at how to determine whether you are at high or low risk for developing cavities.
In the article, Dunn and Johnson found that it’s important to get a complete picture of the health status of your teeth.
For example, if you have a low percentage of tooth enamel, your risk of developing cavies may be higher than someone with a high percentage of teeth.
Dunn and Johnson said their findings suggest that a thorough assessment of your dental health may help you make an informed decision about whether you should be taking any preventive measures.
Dr. Thomas H. Noll, the study’s lead author and a dentist at the University at Albany School of Dentistry, said dental health is a complex topic and that the results of the study should not be used to decide on dental health or treatment.
Dr Noll said he was surprised that Dunn and Jr. chose to focus on teeth that are underdeveloped, which is why they focused on the risk factors for developing enamel defects.
Dr Dunn said in general, a tooth with no enamel is one that is not developing properly.
He said that people with enamel issues who are older and have other health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of cavities and need to take steps to improve their health.
Dr Johnson, who has been treating adults with dental problems for 25 years, said he hopes the study will encourage dentists to look at a more comprehensive picture of their patients’ dental health and to discuss dental health issues with their patients.
Dr Linn said the study provides some information that can help dental professionals make informed dental care decisions, but he added that the study is not meant to be used as a definitive statement about whether a person should be treated for cavits.
Dr John L. Rutter, the associate dean for research in the University’s College of Dentets and Oral Sciences, said that although the results show that a person’s risk for enamel problems may be increased by having fewer teeth, they are not necessarily indicative of a person having a higher risk for a dental problem.
He said that in general it is not uncommon for people to have enamel deficiencies and that people who are more susceptible to cavities have a higher prevalence of enamel abnormalities.
Dr Rutter said the next step for the study was to gather data on how the risk for dental issues varied by age and sex.
Dr Jana Ritterman, a dentist in South Africa who specializes in oral health, said the results do show that dental problems can be associated with dental health.
She said that when a person has more teeth, the risk of having a tooth that has a low density, which can lead to a high risk of enamphing, is higher.