Why does fluorosed dentine show a higher susceptibility for caries: An ultra-morphological explanation

Kanchana Waidyasekera, Toru Nikaido, Dinesh Weerasinghe, Akihiko Watanabe, Shizuko Ichinose, Franklin Tay, Junji Tagami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background-Chronic endemic dental fluorosis is a malformation of teeth caused by excessive ingestion of fluoride during period of tooth development. Apatite crystallites and collagen fibrils determine the caries susceptibility related properties of dentine. Information relating the effect of dental fluorosis with dentine crystallite and collagen structure is currently unavailable. This study examined structural aberrations of apatite crystallites and collagen fibrils in human fluorosed dentine. Method-Superficial dentine of thirty six normal (Thylstrup-Fejerskov index-0) and thirty six severely fluorosed (Thylstrup-Fejerskov index-7 to 9) extracted human molars from individuals living in an area which is endemic for dental fluorosis were morphologically analyzed using transmission electron microscopy with selected area electron diffraction and dynamic force microscopy. Results-A statistically significant enlargement in the size of crystallites was found in fluorosed dentine (p<0.05). These crystallites were not homogenously arranged. Selected area electron diffraction revealed a lower density of crystallites in fluorosed dentine. Randomly distributed collagen fibrils showed a less complex lay out in contrast to normal dentine tissue. Conclusion-Ultrastructure aberrations of the dentine explain the caries susceptibility of the tissue and suggest the necessity of special approach in dental caries treatment for patients with chronic severe endemic dental fluorosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical and Dental Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Apatite
  • Collagen
  • Dentine
  • Fluorosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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