About this Research Topic
Popularly termed "chalky teeth", molar hypomineralisation (MH) is an under-recognised medico-dental problem that puts one-in-five children worldwide at elevated risk for tooth decay, dental pain and appearance-related psychosocial harm. These liabilities reduce quality of life for affected individuals and also impose large costs on society – socially and economically.
If the global health burden of MH is to be alleviated, we need to better understand (1) the underlying disruptions during tooth development inside the jaw (i.e. developmental pathophysiology) with a view to medical prevention, and (2) the clinical and public health issues, focussing on chalky 2-year, 6-year and 12-year molars – the back teeth at highest risk of accelerated decay.
Progress towards such goals has thus far been obstructed by poor awareness of MH – at scientific, healthcare professional, political and public levels – and ensuing lack of research momentum. However, a translational network group called "The D3 Group for developmental dental defects" (D3G) has achieved significant social impacts over the past decade through cross-sector efforts on research, educational and advocacy fronts. In 2020, D3G launched a campaign recognising 100 years of chalky teeth research, published breakthrough research about MH pathophysiology, and conducted a world-first translational workshop about "the (3-level) MH problem" – the latter being MH itself plus the allied deficiencies in research and education.
Building on these recent advances in science translation, this far-reaching Research Topic provides a cutting-edge platform for sharing current perspectives, new ideas, and research progress across basic, applied and translational domains. We invite participants from the 2020 D3G Workshop and others to help draw attention to the MH problem by illustrating its worldwide burdens and the need for a holistic response from all stakeholders – researchers, dental and other healthcare providers, educators, industry, government, and the at-risk public.
Subtopics of interest include but are not limited to:
• perspectives on the MH problem from various stakeholder groups and geographic regions
• research in underpinning basic science as well aetiological, clinical and public health arenas
• historical reappraisals aiming to build a stronger clinico-scientific foundation for future research
Authors are encouraged to exploit the diverse range of publication types available through the participating Frontiers journals, and to adopt the standardised translational terminology (MH, chalky 2-year molars etc) implemented at the 2020 Workshop – a guideline for which is available from D3G.
The Guest Editors would like to encourage all interested individuals to submit an abstract to this Research Topic before submitting a manuscript.
Guest Editor Prof. Mike Hubbard is founder/director of The D3 Group, a network/charity he runs based at the University of Melbourne.
Keywords: Global health, translational research & education, healthcare policy & social good, paediatric disorders, dental defects, dental decay, medical prevention, preventive dentistry, developmental physiology & biomarkers, biomineralisation, dental imaging & materials, epidemiology
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.