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J Biol Inorg Chem. 2008 Feb;13(2):303-6. Epub 2007 Nov 22.

A link between copper and dental caries in human teeth identified by X-ray fluorescence elemental mapping.

Author information

1
School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. hugh.harris@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

Quantitative X-ray fluorescence imaging of sections of human teeth revealed an increased concentration of copper and zinc in carious regions of dentine compared with unaffected portions of the tooth. Higher-resolution images provided strong evidence that the copper was transported and localized mainly in the dentinal tubules. While similar levels of zinc were found in these areas and concentrated in the tubules, zinc was also more evident in the hydroxyapatite, and the increase in zinc levels compared with the levels in background (normal) areas was less than that for copper. These results suggest a role for copper and zinc in the formation and progression of dental caries and present a potential point of intervention for treatment.

PMID:
18034269
DOI:
10.1007/s00775-007-0321-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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