Contributing to the vastly-expanding pool of knowledge about dental health, scientists from the University of Maryland and Shanghai University have suggested that a major component of teeth becomes significantly more brittle as people age.
Along with enamel, cementum and pulp, dentin is a material that provides the structural framework for teeth.
According to a recent study of the third molars of patients between the ages of 18 and 83, scientists determined that old dentin tissue was about 30 percent weaker than the tissue in younger individuals.
In a report of the study, published in the October issue of the Journal of Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, the authors wrote, "With these findings in mind, the success of specific practices in the field of restorative dentistry may require special consideration in the treatment of seniors, or the development of age-sensitive methods of care."
Regardless of age, however, dentin strength appeared dependent on the spatial orientation of mineral-filled tubules within the tooth.
According to the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, a smeared layer of dentine caused by cavities can be removed by dentists using several cleaning agents.
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