Changes in Collagen Structure Could Impact Cavities

Dentin, which is the part of the tooth under the enamel, is mainly composed of collagen. Collagen makes up 90% of the dentin organic matrix. The most common type of collagen found in dentin is type 1, however, dentin also contains type 3 collagen and traces of type 5 collagen. Accumulation of advanced glycation end-products in dentin is caused by a chemical reaction where sulfhydryl protein linkages are replaced by glucose. This reaction is known as nonenzymatic glycation. Specifically, the buildup of advanced glycation end-products causes crosslinking between amino acids polypeptides in the collagen. This structural change in the collagen modifies the mechanical properties of dentinal collagen. In 2016, a study was conducted to see if the accumulation of advanced glycation end-products contributed to the progression of cavities. This study discovered that ultrasound of type 1 collagen and the total amount of advanced glycation end-products varied noticeably in regions of the teeth that contained cavities. The study concluded that an increased amount of advanced glycation end-products could contribute to the progression of cavities. This was determined by noting how the fluorescence lifetime was shorter in the areas of the teeth that had cavities than in areas that did not contain cavities.


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7 Responses to Changes in Collagen Structure Could Impact Cavities

  1. Quinn Molloy says:

    This comment is intended for Kisten (commenting isn’t an option on that post)

    It is interesting to read about the unproven results of collagen supplements, considering the number of products that are marketed with it. I didn’t know that these products were hydrolysates which seems like it would make them more bioavailable but a less targeted approach to collagen restoration when compared to retinol which can activate genes to transcribe collagen, which seems like a more proven alternative.

  2. xusun24 says:

    This comment is intended for Betsy since there isn’t a comment section under that post.

    Hi Betsy, it is very interesting to know that plant-based protein will be able to not only better simulate the meat flavor but also the coloring of the meat using leghemoglobin. I am already a huge fan of impossible burger and would love to introduce it to my parents but they always refuse in disbelief of new products like impossible meat. I wonder if they can tell the difference if soy leghemoglobin can make plant-based protein change color like real meat under heat. Also perhaps leghemoglobin is the reason why soy crumble in Dana and Bobs tastes so good?

  3. jlturi24 says:

    Comment for the reflection of Kevlar that does not have comments enabled:

    I find the kevlar material very fascinating and impressive! I did some research on it myself and found it interesting that it is also used for car brakes. I understand why it is expensive but it seems like it could be worth the cost for protection in many contexts. I would assume its durability is worth the price instead of upgrading the kayak more often. This reliable material hopefully can be used in other precarious settings such as construction or aerospace engineering.

  4. My comment is intended for Justin:

    Hey Justin, I find what you wrote really interesting and can definitely relate to you as I use supplements while working out as well. Similar to creatine your protein powder does a great job of building muscle mass. The most interesting thing to me is how consumers are able to get all 20 amino acids learned in class from one scoop of your protein powder.

  5. Hi Katie!
    I had about three cavities when I was a kid and they had to drill into my teeth but I never understood why. This is really interesting because I did not know that our teeth are made up majority by collagen and that the end products of advanced glycation are toxic to our teeth’s collagen structure. You mentioned that this occurs through sulfhydryl protein linkages being replaced by glucose. Is this process happening every time we have eat candy? I wonder that that’s why eating too much candy will cause people us to be more prone to cavities although I wasn’t much of candy eater as a child. How long do you think this reaction goes on in order for the cavity to form?
    Thank you for your post! This was very informative.

  6. gmfada24 says:

    Katie this is really interesting. I have never really thought about collagen being present in teeth so that was an awesome insight. Furthermore, it I was awesome to see the mechanism of cavities being described from a biochemical perspective.

  7. Ananya Pani says:

    Hi Katie, this is really interesting! While I knew that collagen is present in the body’s connective tissues, I have really only thought about its role with regards to the skin and muscles– but not the teeth! As advanced glycation end products are the result of sulfhydryl protein linkages being replaced by glucose and are present in higher concentrations in areas of the tooth with cavities, I was wondering if this explains the connection between “eating sugar and cavities.” More specifically, I was wondering how/where the glucose that replace the sulfhydryl protein linkages come from.

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