Dentin decalcification during lithium treatment: case report

Authors

  • Carlos de P. Eduardo PhD,

    Corresponding author
    • Special Laboratory of Lasers in Dentistry (LELO), Department of Restorative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Alyne Simões PhD,

    1. Division of Oral Biology, Department of Biomaterials and Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Patricia M. de Freitas PhD,

    1. Special Laboratory of Lasers in Dentistry (LELO), Department of Restorative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Victor E. Arana-Chavez PhD,

    1. Division of Oral Biology, Department of Biomaterials and Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • José Nicolau PhD,

    1. Division of Oral Biology, Department of Biomaterials and Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Valentim Gentil MD, PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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Corresponding author e-mail: cpeduard@usp.br

ABSTRACT

Severe dental decay and changes in tooth structure have been reported in association with the use of lithium in Psychiatry, but lithium effects on tooth inorganic composition remain unknown. A 30-year-old woman with bipolar disorder, treated with lithium carbonate presented severe dental decay. Dentin samples from lithium and healthy volunteers were collected and submitted to ionic and ultrastructural analysis. Samples from the lithium patient exhibited irregular peritubular walls and the mineral crystals were irregularly arranged in the intertubular dentin. In addition, a decrease in Mg/P/Ca and an increase of Zn concentrations were detected. These data suggest that the severe dental decay and changes in the tooth structure observed for the lithium-treated patient are related to dentin mineral loss and that this pathological condition is different from caries lesions.

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