Ouch! Three out of every four people have teeth which are sensitive to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks
The natural 'glue' used by mussels to stick to rocks could help cure sensitive teeth, new research claims.
The sea creatures' sticky secretions have inspired scientists to create a compound which could be used to help repair damaged teeth.
Three out of every four people have teeth which are sensitive to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks.
The condition occurs when the hard outer enamel layer on teeth and the softer underlying dentine wear away, stimulating the nerves inside.
Sugar free gums and certain toothpastes help ease pain, but Quan-Li Li, of China's Anhui Medical University, and Chun Hung Chu, of the University of Hong Kong, searched for a substance which could restore both enamel and dentine at the same time.
They drew inspiration from the glue used by mussels, and reasoned that a simliar material could help keep minerals in contact with dentine long enough for the teeth to rebuild.
They created a sticky polydopamine material mixed with the minerals calcium and phosphate.
In tests in the lab, reported in journal Applied Materials and Interfaces, teeth bathed in the sticky material and minerals reformed dentine and enamel.
In contrast, teeth bathed just in minerals reformed only enamel.
They authors say that the substance 'may be a simple universal technique to induce enamel and dentine remineralisation simultaneously'.
The breakthrough comes after research last year showed that human teeth are just as strong as those of sharks - a discovery which could assist in the design of stronger dentures.
Scientists made the surprising discovery after comparing the micro-structure of human and shark teeth.They found that despite the teeth of the top ocean predator being coated with super-tough enamel, they are no stronger than the teeth found in your average human being.
Sticky: Mussels use a natural glue to hold themselves in place in their habitat. Scientists found a similar glue could be used in humans help keep minerals in contact with dentine long enough for teeth to rebuild
Shark teeth have an interior of elastic dentine and an outer layer of hard enamel toughened by the fluorine-based mineral fluoroapatite.
Human enamel is softer, consisting of the mineral hydroxyapatite, which is also present in bones.
But because of their structure, the overall strength of human teeth was on a par with that of the shark, the scientists found.
The research, published in the Journal of Structural Biology, could assist the design of stronger and longer lasting dentures.
'It would be great if, sometime in the future, one could repair teeth with a material which is more natural than today’s provisional solutions,' said Professor Matthias Epple, from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, lead author of the study.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2257048/How-seafood-cure-sensitive-teeth-Sticky-compound-inspired-mussels-glue-help-regrow-worn-gnashers.html#ixzz2H1azzVKi
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