One Gene Linked with Hearing Loss, Tooth Decay
July 31, 2014
By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service
INTELIHEALTH - A gene that can cause hearing loss may also lead to a higher risk of tooth decay, says a new study.
The study focused on the estrogen-related receptor beta (ESRRB) gene. Mutations in this gene are known to cause hearing loss.
Researchers studied 1,731 people, including 2 families with ESRRB mutations that cause hearing loss. They found that certain mutations in ESRRB were linked with higher levels of tooth decay.
As part of the study, researchers tested the hardness of 100 extracted teeth from people in the study. They compared their results with the results of DNA testing to see if people with certain ESRRB mutations also had differences in their teeth. The authors concluded that some mutations in ESRRB might change the way that tooth enamel is formed, making it softer and more vulnerable to decay.
The study appears in the July issue of the journal BMC Medical Genetics.