With so much going on in the world of dentistry, there are some very interesting discoveries that have been reported in many a dental journal. Here are just a few of some of the more unique ones that have been talked about.
1. Dental care was not something that prehistoric man spent much time dwelling upon. Recent research on one of the oldest frozen specimens found indicates severe tooth decay and periodontal disease. Scientists have determined this may partially be because of an advent in agriculture. The specimen was probably eating more starchy foods which mouth bacteria thrive upon.
2. Scientists have known for a long time that alligators regenerate their teeth at an incredible amount, up to 3,000 teeth over the course of their lifetime, but they were never quite sure how this was accomplished. Recently, they discover that they possess stem cells underneath the gums. These stem cells sit in what is called lamina tissue. Humans possess this same lamina tissue but it inactivates itself after they grow their adult teeth. Once scientists are able to determine how the alligator’s lamina tissue remains active, it could hold the key to human tooth regeneration.
3. Princeton University researchers are working hard on developing “dental tattoos”. This technology consists of sensors that are “tattooed” onto the enamel of the tooth. The sensor will be able to determine the presence of certain types of bacteria which scientists can then use to detect early stages of diseases such as gum disease or even AIDS.
4. Cheese is one of the best foods for helping to keep tooth decay away. While all dairy products contain calcium, cheese has the added benefit of being able to increase saliva production and raise oral pH levels. This helps to rinse the teeth with saliva and get rid of all the bad bacteria and acids they accrue after eating and drinking. So just remember to say, more cheese, please!
5. Researchers have recently discovered how to grow “bioteeth” in laboratory mice. This is done by implanting combinations of cells into the mouths of the mice. The entire tooth is able to be grown from this procedure, including enamel, dentin, and even roots.
As can be seen, there are some exciting new developments in the field of dental science. With even more research on the horizon, who knows what the future may hold for good dental health and oral care.