The role of salivary peptides in dental caries.
Dental caries is a complex disease, characterized by demineralization of tooth structure. With a protective role, several salivary phosphopeptides appear to be involved in remineralization processes, delaying the loss of tooth structure. In this work we have correlated peptide saliva composition with dental caries susceptibility through the analysis of saliva and hydroxyapatite-adsorbed salivary peptides samples. Saliva samples were obtained from two groups, a caries-free and a cariessusceptible group, and were analysed using HPLC-MS and a sequential extraction with 6 m of guanidine followed by tri fluoroacetate. Data analysis has allowed us to verify a strong correlation between large amounts phosphopeptides (PRP1/3, histatin 1 and statherin), and the absence of dental caries, which reinforces the importance of these peptides in the maintenance of tooth integrity. In addition, in the caries-susceptible group a high number of peptide fragments was observed, suggesting a high proteolytic activity.
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