Keratins: the link between healthy hair and strong teeth

Healthy is beautiful! So what makes healthy hair and strong teeth so attractive, and what properties link these signals of health and vitality?

Hair and teeth share common developmental mechanisms. The hair shaft is made of keratin filaments that are cross-linked. Tooth enamel matrix is primarily composed of enamel proteins that are degraded and replaced by minerals during enamel maturation. Fully mineralized enamel contains a small fraction of organic material that has not been fully understand until now. Researchers have now detected the presence of a specific set of hair keratins in this organic fraction of enamel.

Researchers found that several hair-specific epithelial keratins are expressed in murine enamel. The researchers found that polymorphisms in hair keratins, associated with hair disorders, are also associated with increased susceptibility to cavities. Functional analyses revealed that mutations in hair keratins result in altered enamel structure and reduced enamel micro-hardness.

Thus, the condition of your hair may provide insight as to the susceptibility of your teeth to cavities. With this new link discovered, it’s not more important than ever to monitor the health of both your hair and your teeth for signs of damage.

Reference:

International & American Associations fo. (2015, March 17). “The link between hair disorders and susceptibility to dental caries.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/290910.php.