How Studying Beaver Teeth Is Helping Us Understand Our Own
Posted on 7/20/2018 by Jolie
It's surprising what researchers use to learn more about your teeth. One of these surprises lies in how they use beaver teeth to understand how human enamel develops and works.
Why Studying Beaver Teeth Helps Us Better Understand Human Teeth
Beaver teeth come with a built-in tooth decay fighter. This is because of all the iron in their diet. It makes their enamel harder and more resistant to acid – even stronger than enamel that's treated with fluoride.
Understanding how enamel works is challenging. Essentially, part of your enamel stores amorphous (unstructured minerals). This area is rich in iron and magnesium, which are responsible for acid resistance.
On the other hand, the small amount of unstructured material that makes up the remainder of your enamel likely plays a role in tooth decay. The main difference here is that human enamel is composed of magnesium while a beaver's enamel is composed of iron, which is both harder and stronger.
How Beaver Teeth Explain Tooth Decay
Tooth decay happens when bacteria causes the enamel to erode. Unfortunately, this bacteria is found in a lot of adults' mouths today, which is why tooth decay is a chronic disease and a significant public health problem.
Today, there are even 60 – 90% of children suffering from tooth decay. By the time they're an adult almost 100% of them will have or have had cavities. Remembering that beaver teeth are made of iron, researchers have placed acid on them. The iron that was found in their teeth protected them even then.
What This Means for You
This research helps us understand the importance of fluoride treatments in strengthening your teeth's enamel. So, the next time you're in our office for and we suggest you have a fluoride treatment, let the beaver explain its importance.
By the way, isn't it time to call and schedule this appointment today?
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