Stick with Mussels: they can help strengthen and rebuild teeth!

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

Good news for all you seafood lovers out there. The Journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces have found something very special about mussels’ adhesive nature. Not only does it let these creatures hold fast to rocks in the ocean, researchers have found that they also can be beneficial for teeth.

Quan-Li Li, Chun Hung Chu, and other researchers noted that there are three out of four people who have teeth sensitive to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks. These scientists were determined to look for ways to rebuild enamel and dentin, which are important factors that determine tooth sensitivity. They found that mussel’s natural adhesive, which allows them to attach to rocks, can be a synthetic substance used to reform the eroded enamel and dentin. They worked under the hypothesis that the sticky substance in mussels would have the ability to keep essential minerals in contact with dentin long enough for reformation to occur.

In 2011, an international team of scientists that mussel’s adhesive proved to be a successful alternative to other coatings used in teeth. While most coatings tend to make teeth weak and brittle over time, the synthetic coating created from mussel adhesive had the ability to heal itself when damaged. The researchers also found that minerals in other coatings were only able to reform enamel while the synthetic adhesive was able to reform both enamel and dentin. Phil Messersmith of Northwestern University have taken into account mussels’ incredible adhesive properties and have created a polymer used in coating that can mend tears in just a matter of minutes!

While these scientists continue to incorporate this newfound adhesive to the clinical setting, there are still ways to battle sensitive teeth. Doctors continue to recommend that individuals practice good oral hygiene (brushing twice a day and making sure to floss carefully). Those with sensitive teeth can also be extra careful when consuming acidic foods such as juices, vinegar in salad dressings and soft drinks. A good way to protect teeth is to rinse the mouth with water after consuming these foods. Teeth grinding can also leave teeth susceptible to sensitivity; ask the dentist about a mouth guard for nighttime use to prevent teeth grinding.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or


Sensodyne on sensitive teeth
ACS journal website
Science Daily website
Yahoo Health

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