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Unravelling the link between Diet, Obesity and Dental Caries for targeted prevention of global burdens


There is a positive association between sugar intake and obesity, and a positive association for sugar and caries frequency in children. Based on this information, someone would expect a positive relationship between obesity and caries frequency. However, studies investigating this relationship are inconsistent. It has recently been demonstrated that low copy numbers of the salivary amylase gene (AMY1) predisposes to obesity. It is hypothesised that the greater the AMY1 copy number, the more likely the oral cavity is exposed to simple sugars derived from dietary starch and as such a greater incidence of dental caries. If true, a low AMY1 copy number could be the explanation for those cases of obese children with low caries experience. 


Professor Joerg Eberhard.

Research location

Sydney Dental School

Program type



This project aims to identify any associations between dental caries, obesity and AMY1 copy number in a 6-12 year old population.

Additional information

Applicants who are currently registered dental practitioners in Australia will be given preference as there is clinical work required as a part of the study. 

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2408

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