Three-dimensional assessment of enamel and dentine in mouse molar teeth during masseter muscle hypofunction


Background: Mouse molar is a widely used model for teeth development. However, the effect of masticatory function on enamel and dentine in adult individuals remains poorly understood. As reported, the unilateral masseter hypofunction induced by botulinum toxin type A (BoNTA) resulted in mandibular bone damage and signs of unilateral chewing in adult mice.

Objective: We aimed to assess the amount of enamel and dentine in the first molar (M1) during the unilateral masseter hypofunction in mice, using high-resolution X-ray microtomography (μCT) as threedimensional approach.

Materials and methods: Mandibles of adult BALB/c mice, located either in a Control-group (without intervention) or a BoNTA-group, were ex-vivo scanned using μCT. Treated individuals received each one BoNTA intervention in the right masseter, and saline solution in the left masseter (intra-individual control). Enamel and dentine from M1 were segmented, and volume, thickness and mesial root length were quantified.

Results: Enamel volume from treated side resulted unchanged after 2 weeks of unilateral masseter hypofunction. No differences for enamel volume were found between both sides of control individuals, and between these and samples from hypofunctional side in BoNTA-group. Enamel volume from saline-injected side was reduced when compared with experimental side (p<0,01). No differences in dentine volume, thickness of enamel and dentine, and mesial root length were found for any group.

Conclusion: The amount of enamel in hypofunctional molars remains unaffected after unilateral BoNTA intervention in the masseter, but contralateral side showed reduced enamel volume. Therefore, increased functional wearing during unilateral chewing after BoNTA intervention should be considered.


  • Julián Balanta-Melo
  • Maximilian Bemmann
  • Viviana Toro Ibacache
  • Kornelius Kupczik
  • Sonja Buvinic


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