The distribution of magnesium in developing rat incisor dentin

J. Steinfort, F.C.M. Driessens, H.J.M. Heijligers, W. Beertsen

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Previous studies have shown that rat incisor dentin contains a considerable amount of magnesium that is distributed heterogeneously. The cementum-related dentin, especially its incisal portion, is richest in magnesium. It was the purpose of the present study to investigate the changes that occur in the magnesium content during dentin maturation. Cross-sections were prepared from rat incisors at the apical, middle, and incisal levels. By means of an electron microprobe, tracings were made of the Ca-, Mg-, and P- signal frequencies. Comparison of corresponding dentin layers within and between the cross-sections showed that the Mg/P molar ratio was always higher in the cementum-related dentin (CRD) than in the enamel-related dentin (ERD) and increased from the apex toward the incisal edge. Especially in the incisal cross-section, an increase in Mg/P was found from the older (peripheral) toward the younger (central) dentin layers. As the Mg/P ratio varied from 0.07 to 0.33, the Ca/P ratio was found to fluctuate from 1.48 to 1.15. The two ratios appeared to be highly correlated (r = -0.97; p less than 0.001), suggesting that Mg replaces Ca and is bound to phosphate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-191
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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