Prevent cavities in sensitive teeth

People with sensitive teeth know that taking a sip of an ice cold drink can cause a painful jolt in the mouth. There are different approaches to treat this condition but the treatment usually does not last very long. Research appearing in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces shows the development of a new material with an extract from green tea that can help treat sensitive teeth and even help prevent cavities. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective layers of teeth are worn away and exposing the bony tissue called dentin. Dentin contains microscopic hollow tubes which allow hot and cold liquids and food to contact the underlying nerve endings in the teeth leading to pain. Unprotected dentin is vulnerable to having cavities form around it. Placing a mineral called nanohydroxyapatite in these tubes has often been used to treat sensitive teeth. … Read more

Aging Causes Fracture Toughness Reduction in Dentin

Researchers led by Dr. Dwayne D. Arola of the University of Maryland, have recently examined the role of aging and its affect on the reduction in fracture toughness of human dentin. The article appears on the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials (October 2009 issue, pages 550-559). Dr. Arola and colleagues found that the average fracture toughness of  old dentin was approximately 30% lower than young dentin. The researchers observed that the fracture toughness seemed to depend on the number of lumens, which is important in determining the mineral-to-collagen ratio and the variation in the degree of age-related sclerosis, or embrittlement, throughout dentin. They were able to do this by examining the crack growth resistance of human coronal dentin using tissue obtained from patients 18 to 83 years of age and for crack extension oriented perpendicular to the … Read more