The enamel on your teeth is a very complex structure, one that the rest of your tooth relies upon to protect it from harsh, decay-causing acids. Developing a better understanding of this structure is an important part of creating effective new dental technology. In pursuit of such an understanding, a team at Northwestern University took a look at the tooth of the common beaver.
It’s no secret that beaver teeth have to be in top form. Beavers need them to chew their way through the trees they make their homes out of, and they don’t have fluoride toothpaste to help keep them together. Fortunately, the beaver benefits from a superior tooth enamel that is harder and far more resilient to acid than our own. The team found that beaver tooth enamel is made up of nanowires of hydroxyapatite, with an amorphous, iron-rich mass filling out the space in between. This iron is responsible for the reddish color of beaver incisors, as well as some of their great strength.
While the chemicals found in beaver tooth enamel is different from our own, the structure is more or less the same. With this in mind, researchers may be able to find a way to put what they’ve learned to good in protecting our own teeth. Until such a time, you can always count on our Federal Way dentistry clinic to give you the dental care you need.