Discovery could lead to better understanding of tooth decay process, early detection
Beavers don’t brush their teeth, and they don’t drink fluoridated water, but a new Northwestern University study reports beavers do have protection against tooth decay built into the chemical structure of their teeth: iron.
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: Michael Graydon, Toronto
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 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Michael J. Cohen and Keith W. MacRenaris, of Northwestern; Jill D. Pasteris, of Washington University; and Takele Seda, of Western Washington University.