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. 2015 Apr 17;10(4):e0124236.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124236. eCollection 2015.

Weaker Dental Enamel Explains Dental Decay

Free PMC article

Weaker Dental Enamel Explains Dental Decay

Alexandre R Vieira et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article


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. Mechanical tests showed that dental enamel developed with less amelogenin is "weaker" while the dental enamel of animals over-expressing amelogenin appears to be more resistant to acid dissolution.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Mouse strains and Amelx expression levels.
Western blot analysis confirms predictions from Table 1.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Mean enamel microhardness of 5-month old mice developed with variable amounts of amelogenin.
Knockout mice (KO B6, KO C3H N5, KO Mix), which express no Amelx have “softer” enamel in comparison to the other strains (ANOVA; p<0.0001).
Fig 3
Fig 3. Mean enamel microhardness of 5-month old mice developed with variable amounts of amelogenin after the creation of an artificial caries lesion.
The transgenic line Het C3H/B6 is more resistant to acid demineralization in comparison to knockout mice (KO B6, KO C3H N5, KO Mix) (ANOVA; p<0.0001).

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