Bisphenol A plasticizer interferes with enamel formation

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Bisphenol A plasticizer prevents tooth enamel formation

The plasticizer bisphenol A hinders the formation of tooth enamel, a French researcher at the Universite Paris-Descartes found. According to the results of the investigation, there is a connection between the chemical bisphenol A and the mineralization disorder Molar Incisor hypon mineralization. Scientists blame the plasticizer for a number of other health problems, including obesity and infertility. Diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular problems are also associated with the estrogen-like substance.

Animal experiments led French scientists to the conclusion The study published in the "American Journal of Pathology" under the direction of Katia Alleon examined the effects of bisphenol A on the development of tooth enamel in rats. The basis of the investigation was a presumed relationship between the increasing exposure to hormone-like chemicals and an increasing number of cases of molar incisor hypon mineralization. This mineralization disorder leads to yellowish-white or brown spots during enamel formation, especially in the front incisors and posterior molars. “Affected teeth are usually sensitive to thermal stimuli. Sometimes the daily dental care of these teeth is very painful, ”writes the Giessen University Hospital.

Animal experiments by French scientists were limited to the first 30 and 100 days after the rats were born. The concentration of bisphenol A used was significantly below the European Union limit of 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. After 30 days, however, the expected changes appeared in 75 percent of rat teeth: white spots and brittle edges. Interestingly, the scientists' findings can only be reconstructed within the first 30 days after birth. It is reasonable to assume that the changes “only take effect in a special time window of the development phase” - a finding that is consistent with observations of the human mineralization disorder.

When enamel forms, the body works in two phases: First, a protein scaffold is built up on which minerals are deposited. The proteins are then broken down and the solid tooth enamel is formed by crystallization. In this context, further test phases by the research team revealed how bisphenol A affects the development process. Apparently, the plasticizer provides excess protein during the first phase and hinders the breakdown system during the second phase. The proteins are not removed to a sufficient extent, disturb the crystallization and lead to soft, brittle tooth enamel - the decisive symptom of the molar incisor hypon mineralization.

Further research is intended to clarify open questions. To what extent bisphenol A hinders enamel formation in detail is now to be researched. The research team is also to provide final proof of the relationship between bisphenol A and the mineralization disorder. However, they assume that animal processes can be transferred to the human body.

Bisphenol A: Consumers face danger every day The biggest problem with this finding: Bisphenol A is used in the manufacture of plastics and is contained in countless everyday objects - despite warnings from scientists and environmental associations. In some countries, the use of the plasticizer in children's products has been banned, in Germany at least the use in baby bottles is prohibited. The EU food agency responsible for such bans was previously influenced by lobbyists, the Central German Broadcasting Corporation researched in 2011. The decisions were made on the basis of falsified study results.

Only about two weeks ago, US scientists determined that bisphenol A has a lasting negative impact on human brain development. Through series of tests with pregnant mice, the researchers came to the conclusion that even small doses of the plasticizer have a clear effect on the brain development of the offspring. Both male and female mice showed significant behavioral problems. Males were much more knowledgeable and daring, females were much more fearful than usual. The scientists attribute this effect in part to the effects of the plasticizer on estrogen receptors in various areas of the brain. (lb)

Image: Thommy Weiss /

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Video: Embryology of the Teeth Easy to Understand


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