Dental Decay Risk Increased By Hair Keratin Mutations

First Posted: Oct 29, 2014 01:57 AM EDT

Recent findings published in the Journal of Clinical Investigations have shown that while certain dietary choices and oral hygiene can ultimately determine the likelihood of tooth decay, various genetic factors also play a role, as well.

Researchers found that certain keratins, otherwise known as proteins associated with strong hair, hold an important key in tooth enamel integrity.

For the study, they discovered that individuals with mutations in hair keratin genes are prone to cavities, noting that tooth enamel from individuals with keratin mutations show abnormal structure with a heightened risk of weakeness.

Furthermore, using genetic and intraoral examination data from 386 children and 706 adults, researchers found that individuals harboring known hair disorder-associated polymorphisms in the gene encoding keratin 75 (KRT75), KRT75A161T and KRT75E337K, are prone to increased dental caries. Analysis of teeth from individuals carrying the KRT75A161T variant revealed an altered enamel structure and a marked reduction of enamel hardness, suggesting that a functional keratin network is required for the mechanical stability of tooth enamel. 

More information regarding the findings can be seen here

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