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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fluoride-induced alterations of enamel structure: an experimental study in the miniature pig.

We studied the structural changes in the enamel of mandibular third molars of miniature pigs administered a daily oral dose of 2 mg NaF (approximately 0.9 mg of fluoride) per kg body weight (added to the feed) for 1 year. The treatment period covered most of the secretory stage and the entire post-secretory stage of amelogenesis of the M(3). The enamel of the molars from the fluoride-fed pigs appeared opaque and chalky, and the erupted portions were stained brown. The underlying histopathological change was a pronounced subsurface hypomineralization of the enamel beneath a thin surface rim of higher mineral content. This enamel hypomineralization was attributed to a fluoride-induced impairment of the process of enamel maturation. The most conspicuous finding in the fluorotic enamel was the presence of numerous pit-type hypoplastic defects, denoting a marked fluoride-induced disturbance also of the secretory stage of amelogenesis. Microradiography and scanning electron microscopy revealed an enhanced incremental pattern in the outer enamel of the fluorotic molars. Typically, the bottom of larger hypoplastic defects was underlain by a broad, grossly accentuated incremental line. Occurrence of larger hypoplasias was further associated with the presence of aprismatic enamel, the formation of which was attributed to a loss of the prism-forming (distal) portion of the Tomes' processes of secretory ameloblasts. The findings in the miniature pigs closely parallel earlier observations on fluorotic enamel of free-ranging deer and wild boar from fluoride-polluted areas.[1]


  1. Fluoride-induced alterations of enamel structure: an experimental study in the miniature pig. Kierdorf, H., Kierdorf, U., Richards, A., Josephsen, K. Anat. Embryol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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