LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dental caries is one of the most widespread and significant chronic health issues facing the nation today, and few seem to be aware of it. Better known as tooth decay, 'caries' is Latin for "rottenness" and it affects 3 out of 4 Americans. Even with good dental habits like regular brushing and flossing, it's still entirely possible for a person to develop tooth decay and gum disease which costs the nation $111 billion in dental care every year. For local residents who do require treatment from a Los Angeles periodontist, the highly trained and experienced team at Beverly Hills Periodontist is a top choice, however, researchers believe they may have found key insight into stronger teeth. In a fascinating development, the secret may lie with the North American Beaver.
The beaver, despite being little more than a large rodent, is well known for its ability to build dams and fell trees up to a foot in diameter in the span of a few hours. All that woodwork wouldn't be possible if it weren't for their large, chisel-like incisors and strong teeth. One thing the beaver isn't known for is cavities and tooth decay. Despite being able to live up to 24 years in the wild and spending the majority of its life chopping down trees with its bare teeth, the beaver never suffers from tooth decay, and never once does it use a toothbrush. Meanwhile, a human that goes that long without dental care will obviously suffer more than a few issues.
What makes the case of the beaver so pertinent is that, unlike other animals, rodent enamel is very similar to our own. The structure of their teeth is nearly identical to ours, which has made their immaculate dental state a topic of curiosity for scientists. As it turns out, their chemical composition is quite different. Beavers' teeth contain iron which makes their teeth harder and more resistant to acid – a chief cause of cavities in humans. In addition, layers of hydroxylapatite "nanowires" comprise their makeup. These structures have been discovered for the first time with powerful atom-probe tomography to map their enamel atom by atom.
Researchers believe that in time they'll be able to develop new forms of toothpaste or topical solution that can strengthen human teeth on a molecular, structural level, to become acid resistant not unlike beaver teeth. Similarly to how the use of fluoride in drinking water decreased cavities throughout the US in the 1960s, this breakthrough could lead to decreased dental costs for patients everywhere. Meanwhile, the best method humans have for protecting their teeth is still good dental care and regular checkups from a quality dentist like the Beverly Hills Periodontics & Dental Implant Center, a leading Santa Monica Periodontist . Their highly trained and experienced team of dental experts provide the highly effective treatment options their patients need from cosmetic treatment options for perfect teeth to the dental implants Los Angeles area residents trust the most. For more information call (310) 275-4606, or visit online at www.bhperiodontist.com.
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