Chalky teeth - can they be prevented?

Lead Researcher Email Number Webpage
Professor Mike Hubbard +61 3 834 47524 View page

Project Details

Developmental defects of enamel (popularly termed "chalky teeth") are costly to patients and society. Many of these Developmental Dental Defects (DDDs = D3s) may become preventable if a better understanding of their causes and pathologies can be gained. Recently we assembled a multidisciplinary team to investigate the commonest D3, termed Molar Hypomineralisation, which manifests as soft and porous (chalky) enamel – worldwide, this congenital defect affects "six-year molars" in about 16% of otherwise healthy children, causing life-long risk of toothache, tooth breakdown and decay, and perhaps tooth loss in severe cases. Our initial proteomics investigation provided intriguing insights to the nature and possible cause of Molar Hypomineralisation, opening novel avenues for basic research and clinical developments. A novel detector for porous hydroxyapatite that has potential applications in preventive and restorative dentistry arose from this work.


Dr Jon Mangum, Project co-leader

Research Outcomes

Mangum JE, Crombie FA, Kilpatrick N, Manton DJ, Hubbard MJ. Surface integrity governs the proteome of hypomineralized enamel. J. Dent. Res. 2010; 89, 1160-1165 (PMID: 20651090)


Hubbard MJ , Mangum JE. Kit and method for detecting porous dental hydroxyapatite. (AU2011229153)

Translational outcomes

Online education resource:

Children's storybook:

Public awareness campaign:

Research Group

Mangum laboratory: Proteomics and calcium biology

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Unit / Centre

Mangum laboratory: Proteomics and calcium biology