Dentin decalcification during lithium treatment: case report

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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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