Analysis of Trace Elements in Teeth by ICP-MS: Implications for Caries


Teeth are good indicators of environmental exposure to heavy metals and of nutritional status. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to compare the content of trace elements in primary and permanent teeth. For this purpose, primary teeth were collected from 64 children and 112 permanent teeth were collected from 40- to 60-year-old adults. The data were assessed statistically using t-tests. We found that, in comparison to primary teeth, permanent teeth contained significantly higher concentrations of Na, Mg, Al, Fe, Ni, Cu, Sr, Cd, Ba, Pb and U and significantly lower concentrations of Mn, Co, As, Se, Mo and Bi. In addition, a comparison of the concentrations of trace elements in the pulps of individuals with healthy vs. carious teeth showed that the mean concentrations of Na, Al, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Mo, Ag, Bi and U were lower in those with carious teeth. However, the concentrations of Mg, Cd and Pb in the pulps were higher in individuals with carious teeth than in those with healthy teeth.


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