The concentration of trace elements has been measured for dental enamel from 86 healthy human teeth using particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE). The majority of the teeth (n = 70) were collected from dentists in the county of Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, although a smaller group (n = 16) were collected from Cornwall. The elements K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Sr, Pb, and Hg have been detected and statistically analyzed by grouping according to sex, age, and geographical location. The concentrations of Fe and Cu were found to be lower in the teeth from female donors (P < 5%) and are believed to result from the continued burden of blood loss during menstruation. Strong positive correlations (P < 0.1%) were found between Ca, Co, Ni, and Zn for all groups; these elements were also found to exhibit a negative correlation (P < 1%) with age for teeth from female donors. This is believed to be related to decalcification during the menopause. Pb was found to exhibit a positive correlation (P < 5%) with age for both sexes, and is believed to substitute for Ca in the Ca hydroxy apatite (HAP) within the dental enamel.
Biological Trace Element Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 10, 2007
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