Volume distribution and concentration of protein, mineral and water in developing bovine enamel

Arch Oral Biol. 1988;33(3):159-62. doi: 10.1016/0003-9969(88)90040-4.


The percentage volume of enamel occupied by mineral, matrix protein and water was determined at each of four stages. Protein decreased throughout development from 20 to 30 per cent to a minimum of 2-3 per cent in mature tissue. Mineral content remained fairly consistent during secretion (15-20%) rising to 70-80 per cent in mature enamel. Water content rose from varying levels to 60-70 per cent at the secretion/maturation boundary decreasing to about 20 per cent in mature enamel. The loss of protein and subsequent delay in the onset of mineral increment resulted in tissue porosity. The duration of this hydrated, porous stage may determine susceptibility of the tissue to, for example, fluoride ion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Dental Enamel / analysis*
  • Dental Enamel / growth & development
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Water / analysis


  • Minerals
  • Proteins
  • Water