Molecular insights into hypomineralized enamel
Journal article, 2019
Hypomineralized enamel may be found in connection with the condition molar incisor hypomineralization (MIH), which has a prevalence of around 15% in most parts of the world. Molar incisor hypomineralization is associated with extensive objective and subjective problems, such as hypersensitivity of the affected teeth, enamel breakdown, and problems with retention of restorations. The etiology behind MIH has not yet been elucidated, but a number of possible factors, which affect the same or different functions of ameloblasts during their different stages of maturation, have been suggested. The aim of this study was to utilize multi-nuclear, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ss-NMR) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS) to elucidate any differences, at a molecular level, between enamel powder prepared from normal, healthy teeth and enamel powder prepared from teeth diagnosed with MIH. 31P and 23Na ss-NMR confirmed the presence of HPO2-4 and two different Na+ sites in hypomineralized enamel, suggesting a heterogeneous chemical composition. The content of organic components was higher in hypomineralized enamel, as shown by both 13C ss-NMR and ToF-SIMS, indicating the presence of higher numbers of proteins and phospholipids. The interplay between both is necessary for the formation and mineralization of enamel, which might be disturbed or halted in hypomineralized enamel.