Teeth are the hardest tissue in the body. The growth of teeth is closely regulated by circadian rhythmicity. Considering that sleep deprivation (SD) is a severe condition that disrupts normal circadian rhythmicity, this study was conducted to determine whether calcium expression (the major element participating in teeth constitution), and dental mass would be significantly impaired following SD. Adolescent rats subjected to 3 weeks of SD were processed for energy dispersive spectrum (EDS), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), and micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) analyses. The EDS and TOF-SIMS results indicated that high calcium intensity was detected in both the upper and lower incisors of untreated rats. Micro-CT analysis corresponded closely with spectral data in which an enhanced dental mass was calculated in intact animals. However, following SD, both calcium expression and the dental mass were remarkably decreased to nearly half those of the untreated values. Because SD plays a detrimental role in impairing dental structure, establishing satisfactory sleep behavior would therefore serve as a crucial strategy for preventing or improving prevalent dental dysfunctions.
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