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Making teeth tough: Beavers show way to improve our enamel

Discovery could lead to better understanding of process, early detection

don’t brush their teeth, and they don’t drink fluoridated water, but a new study reports beavers do have protection against tooth decay built into the chemical structure of their teeth: iron.

Beaver Skull
Northwestern University researchers found that the pigmented enamel of beavers, which contains iron, is both harder and more resistant to acid than regular enamel, including that treated with fluoride.
Credit: Credit: , Toronto


Source

Amorphous intergranular phases control the properties of rodent tooth enamel. Science 13 February 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6223 pp. 746-750 DOI: 10.1126/science.1258950

In addition to Joester, other authors of the paper are Lyle M. Gordon (first author), formerly with Northwestern, now with ; Michael J. Cohen and Keith W. MacRenaris, of Northwestern; Jill D. Pasteris, of Washington University; and Takele Seda, of Western Washington University.

Northwestern University