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posted by mrpg on Sunday June 03, @07:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the tooths dept.

[...] Enamel, located on the outer part of our teeth, is the hardest tissue in the body and enables our teeth to function for a large part of our lifetime despite biting forces, exposure to acidic foods and drinks and extreme temperatures. This remarkable performance results from its highly organised structure.

However, unlike other tissues of the body, enamel cannot regenerate once it is lost, which can lead to pain and tooth loss. These problems affect more than 50 per cent of the world's population and so finding ways to recreate enamel has long been a major need in dentistry.

[...] Dr. Sherif Elsharkawy, a dentist and first author of the study from Queen Mary's School of Engineering and Materials Science, said: "This is exciting because the simplicity and versatility of the mineralisation platform opens up opportunities to treat and regenerate dental tissues. For example, we could develop acid resistant bandages that can infiltrate, mineralise, and shield exposed dentinal tubules of human teeth for the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity."

The mechanism that has been developed is based on a specific protein material that is able to trigger and guide the growth of apatite nanocrystals at multiple scales—similarly to how these crystals grow when dental enamel develops in our body. This structural organisation is critical for the outstanding physical properties exhibited by natural dental enamel.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday June 03, @08:30AM

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    --
    My United States Social Security Number Is 518-92-8663
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Sunday June 03, @10:23AM (4 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 03, @10:23AM (#687968) Homepage Journal

    Dogs: gotta love this world.

    In order to make $$$, you have companies like Colgate etc making tooth whitening strips.
    These remove the top layers of enamel from your teeth.
    Which makes the teeth sensitive.

    So you have companies like Colgate etc making sensitive tooth toothpaste.

    "Here kid, here's cigarettes...smoke 'em if you got 'em, which you do now!"
    "Hey kid! You got cancer? Here's a cancer fighting drug! Mucho dollaro, though."

    Now, how much is it to put back the enamel on all these 'R' words that have stripped it away because "If you're not whitening...you're yellowing"...OMG, I'm yellowing...SOCIAL DISGRACE, I'LL BE AN OUTCAST!!!"

    P.A.T.H.E.T.I.C.
    ---Chief Queef
    (sorry for the violence in this short song)

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, @01:11PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, @01:11PM (#688000)

      what.. the.. fuck..

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday June 03, @02:18PM (1 child)

        by c0lo (156) on Sunday June 03, @02:18PM (#688020)

        what.. the.. fuck..

        Are you yellowing already?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, @05:02PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, @05:02PM (#688057)

          I've been yellow since grade school, bullies all took advantage of me.
          ...oh, you mean tooth yellowing? Sorry, wrong room.

    • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Monday June 04, @03:32AM

      by cubancigar11 (330) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 04, @03:32AM (#688206) Homepage Journal

      I used to suffer this, don't know the exact name... this ice-cream-induced-cold-teeth since forever. Of course my whole family was Coalgate consumer. Around 4 years ago someone suggested me to try sensodyne. I cannot say my teeth are white or not, but now I can eat a whole ice cream brick and not feel a thing...

      *sobs*

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, @02:05PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, @02:05PM (#688015)

    A Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] says otherwise: "Tooth remineralisation is a naturally occurring process in the oral cavity."

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Sunday June 03, @02:21PM

      by c0lo (156) on Sunday June 03, @02:21PM (#688025)

      Yeah, but now they can regrow it even in vitro !!1!1one!

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Immerman on Sunday June 03, @03:48PM (2 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Sunday June 03, @03:48PM (#688041)

      Remineralization of existing enamel is a very different thing than growing new enamel. The first hardens it so that it wears away less slowly, the second would let you replace it once it's gone

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, @10:05PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, @10:05PM (#688113)

        The second sentence in the Wikipedia article says "It is defined as a process in which calcium and phosphate ions are sourced to promote ion deposition into crystal voids in demineralised enamel." A void is an empty space, in this case the space where enamel was lost.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, @02:17AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, @02:17AM (#688184)

          I lost a lot of the enamel on my teeth due to sleep bruxism, and I guarantee that such a large amount of enamel isn't going to regenerate by itself.

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