Dental caries continues to be the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease of humankind.
Dental professionals assert the disease can be explained by poor oral hygiene and a diet rich in sugars but this does not account for caries free individuals exposed to the same risk factors. In order to test the hypothesis that amount of amelogenin during enamel development can influence caries susceptibility, we generated multiple strains of mice with varying levels of available amelogenin during dental development.
Dental caries is a leading cause of tooth loss in both developed and developing countries. The disease affects billions of people and occasionally leads to lethality in both children and adults or important sequela, such as blindness. To treat dental caries in the permanent dentition of children from developing countries by traditional amalgam restorative dentistry would require financial resources beyond the total health budget of these countries. Children with poorer oral health status are more likely to experience dental pain, miss school, and perform poorly in school. The aesthetic nature of untreated dental decay can at least indirectly compromise the child’s self-esteem and social development. Vaccine discovery efforts have focused on the bacterial species associated with dental caries, particularly Streptococcus mutans.
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