Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Cancer therapies during childhood can damage developing teeth


Research published by the University of Helsinki, Finland, indicates that cytostatic and radiation therapies administered before stem cell transplantation often damage children’s permanent teeth.

Detrimental effects of cytostatic and radiation therapies on dental development have been known for a long time, but knowledge about the dental consequences of high-dose anticancer therapy preceding stem cell transplantation has so far been scarce. Päivi Hölttä, Licentiate in Dentistry, from the Institute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki, has studied the effects of high-dose anticancer chemotherapy and total body irradiation on the development of permanent teeth.

Tooth development is a genetically controlled chain of events that can be disturbed by various environmental factors. The development of permanent teeth begins as early as the 20th week of gestation and continues until the age of 14 to 15 years with the exception of wisdom teeth, which still continue their development for several years. All this time teeth are vulnerable to developmental aberrations.

The children examined in the current study, treated for cancer or aplastic anemia, had received stem cell transplantation at the age from 1 to 9.4 years, preceded with a high-dose anticancer chemotherapy and, in most cases, with total body irradiation. In her research, Hölttä studied how many of the treated children lacked permanent teeth or had unusually small teeth, and how often dental roots were poorly developed.

The results indicated that 31% of the treated children lacked permanent teeth (as opposed to 8% of the Finnish population), when wisdom teeth were excluded. Lack of permanent teeth was most frequent (77%) among children who had been less than three years old at stem cell transplantation. The highest number of missing teeth was 12. Those who had been over five years of age at stem cell transplantation lacked only wisdom teeth. A significant finding was that a high-dose anticancer chemotherapy alone caused a lack of permanent teeth nearly as often as when combined with total body irradiation, which, however, slightly increased the number of missing teeth.

The children also had a high frequency of microdontia, teeth smaller than normal (44% as opposed to 2% of the Finnish population). Microdontia was common among children under five years of age at stem cell transplantation and rare among others. Surprisingly, high-dose anticancer chemotherapy caused microdontia in all those who had been treated when under three years old. Total body irradiation did not increase the number of microdontia patients or microdontic teeth.

Developmental aberrations in dental roots were found in all the children in the study. Some of them had minor changes visible in a few teeth only, while others had severe damage in all their teeth. Total body irradiation increased the number of damaged roots. The children who had only received high-dose anticancer chemotherapy had root damage in over half of their teeth, but the damage was not as severe as with those who had also received total body irradiation.

The lack of several permanent teeth and their small size affect the development of occlusion and the growth of the jaws. Short and sometimes almost non-existent roots may not endure masticatory forces, and periodontal infections may result in an early loss of short-rooted teeth. “We still don’t know about the long-term consequences of the treatments, which is why the monitoring of the patients should be continuous and centralised. Cooperation between specialists in children’s haematology and oncology and specialists in various fields of dentistry is of fundamental importance in providing for these children the best possible dental care in the future,” Päivi Hölttä says.

Paivi Lehtinen | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>