Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide.

While oral hygiene and dietary choices promote tooth decay, genetics are also a factor in cavity formation.

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals that keratins, proteins associated with strong hair, are important for tooth enamel integrity.

Maria Morasso and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that individuals with mutations in hair keratin genes are prone to cavities.

Tooth enamel from individuals with keratin mutations had abnormal structure that resulted in weakness.

The results from this study reveal a link between hair disorders and cavity formation.

Title: Hair keratin mutations in tooth enamel increase dental decay risk