Assessing the link between DEFB1 gene mutation and the predisposition to dental caries
Max W. Hartwig, Alexander B. Kurdziel
Caries, more commonly known as cavities, occur in the oral cavity when bacteria attack the tooths’ enamel causing tooth decay (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 2019). According to Dye (2015), caries are extremely common with 91% of adults 20 to 64 having had dental caries in their permanent teeth. While there are over 700 different species of bacteria within the oral cavity, there are important immune barriers that fend off these bacteria (National Institute of Health, 2019). Beta defensin 1, one of these immune barriers, is a protein that is encoded by the DEFB1 gene (NCBI, 2022). This protein is commonly found on the enamel of teeth and serves as one of the first lines of defense against invading germs (University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, 2010). A mutation or polymorphism of this gene can be a genetic cause for an increased amount of caries in an individual (Ozturk, 2010). According to Conroy (1993), as much as 40-65% of the risk for dental caries can be due to genetic factors. In a more recent study, the presence of the variant allele of the DEFB1 marker rs11362 (G-20A) was associated with a five-fold increase in decayed, missing teeth due to caries (Ozturk, 2010). The purpose of this poster is to discuss research on the link between the predisposition to caries and the mutation of the DEFB1 gene. Afterwards, we will discuss literature that strategizes how to prevent dental caries in people with the predisposition.
Kathleen C. Scheltens
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
"Assessing the link between DEFB1 gene mutation and the predisposition to dental caries" (2022). Stander Symposium Projects. 2583.