Have you ever wondered why certain animals don’t get cavities? Beavers, for example, rely on their teeth daily, and they certainly don’t brush them or drink fluoridated water. However, a new study completed at Northwestern University found that beavers do have tooth decay protection built into the structure of their teeth, and the findings can make a big impact on how we keep our teeth safe.
What Beaver Teeth Can Teach Us
According to researchers, the chemical composition of the enamel on beaver teeth is different from that of humans. They are able to gnaw on logs relentlessly without damaging their teeth or developing cavities because their teeth contain iron. This makes their teeth harder and better resistant to acid than ours, and this acid resistance is extremely important. In humans, acid from bacteria is what causes cavities.
This study also found that beaver teeth also contain layers of hydroxylapatite nanowires. When combined with iron, the end result is an extremely hard and durable surface.
So what does all this mean for people? Well, scientists believe that they can use this information to develop new topical solutions or toothpastes that could strengthen the human teeth on a structural and molecular level. These solutions could make our teeth more beaver-like, resisting acid and minimizing decay. Ultimately, this could lead to lower dental costs.
While these discoveries are promising, it is important to remember that this research is still in the beginning stages. Even if eventually there is an option for preventing cavities for good, you still need to take proper precautions now to protect your teeth against decay. Regular checkups with your dentist every six months are crucial, as your teeth and gums will change over time, and only your dentist will be able to see exactly what is going on. Contact us today to set up your next appointment.