About the MoBaTooth biobank for primary teeth
The MoBaTooth biobank was established in 2008, and is affiliated with the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). This is a collaboration between the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the University of Bergen (UoB).
Nearly 35.000 shed primary teeth has been collected and stored at the Department of Clinical Dentistry (IKO) at the University of Bergen. The participants in the MoBaTooth biobank have donated one or more shed primary teeth, and these children are also participants in the MoBa-study.
The purpose of the MoBaTooth biobank is to use primary teeth as a biomarker in research to increase the knowledge about children’s uptake of environmental and food toxins and nutrients in fetal life and early childhood. This knowledge will be used to find underlying causes for disease and condition in children - and ultimately prevent health problems.
What information is stored in primary teeth?
Analyses of the dental tissue from the primary teeth can provide information on exposure to toxic and essential elements during fetal development and early childhood. Trace elements from the child's environment and diet are built into the tooth tissue as the teeth are formed. Dental tissue is formed in layers and in a specific pattern and is very stable and can therefore be used as a kind of tachograph for various exposures during the tooth formation period.
At birth, a clear growth line is formed in the tooth – the neonatal line – which makes it possible to distinguish between dental tissue that is formed pre-and postnatally.
In addition to this, dental tissue can show changes and defects that are the result of disease, malnutrition, or exposures to environmental toxins.
Each individual tooth can be used to analyse what the child has been exposed to, for example heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, or nutrients such as selenium and iodine. This information may help us understand why some children are healthy and other children have more health problems.
Thank you to all the children participating in the MoBaTooth biobank study who have donated one or more primary teeth.