Studies on the organic composition of dental calculus and related calculi

Abstract

Quantitative analyses of some organic components of dental calculus, a salivary duct stone, a subgingival calculus and a rhinolith are reported. The protein component of all four calcifications is remarkably similar. It is characterized by high contents of glycine, alanine, glutamic and aspartic acids, and low contents of the sulphur-containing amino acids methionine and cystene. Neither cystine nor hydroxyproline were found, indicating absence of keratin or collagen. The carbohydrate components of dental calculus included rhamnose as major neutral sugar, glucose, galactose, arabinose, mannose, glucosamine, galactosamine and glucuronic acid. The presence of rhamnose suggests bacterial origin for part of the sugar but ribose and deoxyribose were not detected. The salivary duct stone contained less carbohydrate than the other calculi. It contained mainly hexosamine, hexuronic acid and galactose with little glucose and no rhamnose. The rhinolith also contained no rhamnose and the principal sugars were glucose and mannose, with smaller amounts of galactose, arabinose, hexosamine and hexuronic acid. The lipid fraction of dental calculus comprised phospholipids, triglycerides, cholesterol esters and free fatty acid. Of the latter which formed the largest lipid component palmitic, stearic and oleic acids predominated.

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Correspondence to Dr. S. L. Rowles.

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Osuoji, C.I., Rowles, S.L. Studies on the organic composition of dental calculus and related calculi. Calc. Tis Res. 16, 193–200 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02008226

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Key words

  • Organic
  • Calculus
  • Analysis
  • Teeth
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate