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Environmental lead pollution and its possible influence on tooth loss and hard dental tissue lesions

Author(s): Cenić-Milošević Desanka | Mileusnić Ivan | Kolak Veljko | Pejanović Đorđe | Ristić Tamara | Jakovljević Ankica | Popović Milica | Pešić Dragana | Melih Irena

Journal: Vojnosanitetski Pregled
ISSN 0042-8450

Volume: 70;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 751;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: environmental pollution | lead | DMF index | serbia

Bacground/Aim. Environmental lead (Pb) pollution is a global problem. Hard dental tissue is capable of accumulating lead and other hard metals from the environment. The aim of this study was to investigate any correlation between the concentration of lead in teeth extracted from inhabitants of Pančevo and Belgrade, Serbia, belonging to different age groups and occurrence of tooth loss, caries and non-carious lesions. Methods. A total of 160 volunteers were chosen consecutively from Pančevo (the experimental group) and Belgrade (the control group) and divided into 5 age subgroups of 32 subjects each. Clinical examination consisted of caries and hard dental tissue diagnostics. The Decayed Missing Filled Teeth (DMFT) Index and Significant Caries Index were calculated. Extracted teeth were freed of any organic residue by UV digestion and subjected to voltammetric analysis for the content of lead. Results. The average DMFT scores in Pančevo (20.41) were higher than in Belgrade (16.52); in the patients aged 31-40 and 41-50 years the difference was significant (p < 0.05) and highly significant in the patients aged 51-60 (23.69 vs 18.5, p < 0.01). Non-carious lesions were diagnosed in 71 (44%) patients from Pančevo and 39 (24%) patients from Belgrade. The concentrations of Pb in extracted teeth in all the groups from Pančevo were statistically significantly (p < 0.05) higher than in all the groups from Belgrade. In the patients from Pančevo correlations between Pb concentration in extracted teeth and the number of extracted teeth, the number of carious lesions and the number of non-carious lesions showed a statistical significance (p < 0.001, p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusion. According to correlations between lead concentration and the number of extracted teeth, number of carious lesions and non-carious lesions found in the patients living in Pančevo, one possible cause of tooth loss and hard dental tissue damage could be a long-term environmental exposure to lead. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 21045: The Effects of a Chemically Polluted Environment on Oral Tissues and Teeth of Patients from the town of Pančevo, Serbia]
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