Pregnant rats were fed liquid diets containing either 2 or 10 μg Zn/ml with or without 30% of kcal from ethanol throughout gestation and lactation. At day 20 of lactation, three male rats from each litter were orally inoculated with Streptococcus mutans and fed a high sucrose-containing diet for six weeks. Maternal ethanol ingestion coinciding with offspring molar development significantly increased offspring dental caries scores and reduced the zinc content of enamel and dentin. Ethanol did not affect molar content of calcium, magnesium or phosphorus which suggests that ethanol is a specific antagonist of zinc utilization during molar development. Ethanol-antagonized zinc content of enamel may be responsible for the development of faulty enamel which has greater susceptibility to acid attack.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics