Dentists and scientists often find it difficult to determine why some people’s teeth are corroded by teeth and other people’s influences, despite similarities in drinking and eating habits. Many studies have shown that men have more severe tooth erosion than women. Food erosion has been studied for wine tasters and people with vomiting eating disorders. These people often expose their teeth to acid and therefore have a high risk of dental erosion. However, research shows that not all people at risk of these diseases have dental erosion. Researchers at the University of Oslo Dental School are trying to find an explanation for this.
Not just acid
How do we explain that while some people often expose their teeth to an acidic environment, they may not have any signs of dental erosion, and some people who seem to be doing the right thing will still develop dental erosion? Dr. Marte-Mari Uhlen, a candidate for Ph.D., has been studying this point carefully in her doctoral dissertation.
“As dentists and researchers, we often encounter difficult-to-interpret dental erosion cases, and we have encountered patients without tooth erosion, although their lifestyle indicates that they should do so. This is also a common assumption that boys tend to be more than girls. There is more erosion and more severe erosive lesions. We believe that this gap is not just due to the acidic effect, “Uhlen explained.
Uhlen and colleagues conducted a clinical study of 66 patients with eating disorders and vomiting. The study consisted of clinical examinations and questionnaire-based surveys. Patients conducted interviews on their condition. The questionnaire included questions about the duration of eating disorders and the frequency of vomiting as well as the general health of participants, oral hygiene habits and eating habits.
“The results of the study showed that 70% of patients suffered from tooth decay, and patients with the longest period of illness had more tooth decay and the severity of the lesion was higher than those with a short duration of disease. This finding confirms our hypothesis that the teeth: Erosion is a common problem in patients with eating disorders and vomiting. Nevertheless, we were surprised to find that one-third of patients did not show any signs of tooth erosion at all, even those who often vomited for 32 years, “Uhlen explained.
The researchers also examined the oral environment and enamel. The oral environment includes the volume of saliva, the content of saliva, and the dental membrane, which is a protein membrane that covers the surface of the tooth. All of these elements are important factors in protecting the teeth from acid attack. Enamel is mainly composed of minerals, and the formation and structure of enamel is controlled by genes.
Vomiting events in a simulated laboratory
In their next study, scientists collected teeth from eight individuals and placed samples of these teeth on a plate in the mouth of another six volunteers.
The plates containing the enamel samples were simulated for vomit episodes: the plates were removed from the mouth and washed twice a day with hydrochloric acid for a total of nine days.
Uhlen explains: “We want to see how the teeth will respond to the acid from their different mouths.” In this way, we can examine the protective effects of the oral environment and the lice itself.”
The results showed that the susceptibility to dental erosion appeared to be affected by the quality of tooth enamel and the oral environment: Although the degree of protection of the oral environment seemed to be the most important in some subjects, in other subjects, strength or weakness The enamel is more pronounced.
Association with enamel formation genes
Then, focus on genetics. Can a strong or weak beggar inherit? The hypothesis is that the gene that causes enamel formation may give us more information about why people have dental erosion. Previous studies have shown that changes in these enamel-forming genes may affect the susceptibility of dental caries and tooth erosion.
The researchers then collected a tooth and a saliva sample from 90 people. The enamel samples from these teeth are then mounted on a plate and exposed to acid. Then use a high-grade microscope to measure the amount of enamel loss.
Scientists extracted DNA from saliva samples to study whether enamel-forming genes might play a role in the susceptibility of dental erosion. Seven genes were selected.
“We chose these specific genes because they are important at different stages of enamel formation,” Uhlen said.
Genetic variation affects susceptibility
Comparing changes in enamel loss and selected genes, the scientists found that some of the genetic variations involved in enamel formation seem to affect the susceptibility of dental erosion. The results of genetic analysis also showed that enamel from female donors was more resistant to tooth erosion than enamel from male donors. This supports the results of a study on eating disorders in which girls’ enamel is genetically more resistant to tooth erosion than boys’ enamel.
“Our results suggest that the susceptibility of different individuals to dental erosion varies. Factors related to the oral environment and enamel quality appear to have affected susceptibility. In addition, susceptibility to tooth erosion seems to be affected by genetic variation,” Uhlen explained.
In addition, these findings confirm that clinicians and researchers have long assumed that men are more likely than women to develop tooth erosion.
The results of these studies indicate that it is generally believed that normal intake of acidic foods and beverages may lead to dental erosion in subjects at risk. It is important for clinicians and researchers to recognize this susceptibility difference and inform the patient.
“Recognizing that some people are more likely to be affected by dental erosion or susceptible to dental erosion and that men may be particularly sensitive, dental professionals can better allocate their resources and devote more time to those who need it most. On the body, Uhlen.