When dental implants Fort Lauderdale, FL dentist Dr. Fenton came across a new report that is making its way around the dental world, he couldn’t help but share it here with you. it appears that there may be new and improved methods for preventing tooth decay may be on the rise. Those of our patients who are having to finance their own dental implants due to tooth decay should be especially thrilled by this news.
And it’s all thanks to beavers.
Go ahead. We will give you a chance to get all your giggles out now. Go on, we’ll wait. We know it sounds ridiculous.
OK, done? Good.
Anyways, back to science. According to a report submitted by a team of researchers at a Northwestern University beavers may have a natural defense system against decay and erosion built right into the chemical composition of their teeth.
None of this probably makes any sense yet, does it?
Ok. Take a step back and think about something. What is it that beavers do all day, practically all of their lives. Well, they swim in rivers, creeks and streams. They build dams and live in them. Oh yea, they also chew through the trunks of trees. With their teeth. Everyday. Imagine how your teeth would look and feel if you tried to chew through the trunk of even one tree. Take our word for it; not good.
On top of all these factors that would otherwise spell disaster for human teeth, a beaver does it all without ever brushing its teeth a single time in its life. They will never undergo a single fluoride treatment either. even so, a beaver will die with a strong set of teeth still firmly rooted in its jaw.
What the heck is going on here people? Why don’t beaver teeth erode and decay the way a human’s do? Why don’t their teeth rot away despite going years without brushing their teeth and supplementing that lack in care with an exuberant amount of stress in the form of chomping through trees? Can we harness their super teeth powers for ourselves?
It appears the team of researchers at the above mentioned Northwestern University were wondering the same thing because they went out in search of answers.
Well, they found them alright.
at this point we would make a bad joke about them striking gold, but that would be a lie. So we’re going to make a bad joke anyways and say they struck iron. Iron and magnesium to be exact because according to their report, these are the substances that lend beaver teeth the super strength they boast.
A beaver’s teeth are structured in layers of hydroxylapatite “nanowires.” However, that’s not the special part, as humans have nanowires in the structure of their teeth as well. It’s in the material surrounding those nanowires that trace of amorphous minerals rich in iron and magnesium can be found.
“A beaver’s teeth are chemically different from ours, not structurally different,” Derk Joester, the team’s leading researcher, explains. “Biology has shown us a way to improve our enamel. The strategy of what we call ‘grain boundary engineering’ — focusing on the area surrounding the nanowires — lights the way in which we could improve our current treatment with fluoride.”
And there it is. A possible path toward improve enamel strength in humans. We wouldn’t hold our breath for the day that we’re able to chew through trees, but any kind of improvement is good right?
Here’s to hoping for stronger teeth in the near future.
Until next time readers, keep smiling.