Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 187, Issue 1, pp 51–58 | Cite as

Zinc and Metallothionein in the Development and Progression of Dental Caries

  • Mohammad Tariqur RahmanEmail author
  • Ashfaque Hossain
  • Chew Hooi Pin
  • Noor Azlin Yahya


Chronic oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in oral cavity as well as acidic pH on dental enamel surface due to the metabolic activities of bacterial plaque are the major contributors in the development and progression of dental caries. Along with other factors, deposition or dissolution Ca and Mg mostly determines the re- or demineralization of dental enamel. Zn plays an important role for both Ca and Mg bioavailability in oral cavity. Metallothionein (MT), a group of small molecular weight, cysteine-rich proteins (~ 7 kDa), is commonly induced by ROS, bacterial infection, and Zn. In the current review, we evaluated MT at the junction between the progression of dental caries and its etiologies that are common in MT biosynthesis.


Calcium Magnesium Reactive oxygen species Metallothionein Dental caries Zinc 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Tariqur Rahman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ashfaque Hossain
    • 2
  • Chew Hooi Pin
    • 3
  • Noor Azlin Yahya
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of DentistryUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyRAK Medical UniversityRas al-KhaimahUAE
  3. 3.Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of DentistryUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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