Nanostructure of dentin stops teeth from cracking

Considering the amount of force we inflict upon our teeth and the fact they’ve got a lifetime to survive with us, it’s surprising teeth don’t crack more easily and more often. We’ve long known that structures in dentin help with the preservation of teeth, and new evidence points to a more comprehensive understanding of why this is the case.

Normal bone can regenerate and repair itself, but teeth lack that ability. German researchers undertook studies to reveal mechanical properties of tiny nanoparticle and fiber structures inside dentin, the layer of softer, porous material that lies underneath the hard enamel on the tooth’s surface.

The findings of micro- and nano- x-ray examination reveal, in essence, that the collagen and fiber in dentin are pre-compressed and respond to changes in force, pressure, and humidity, constantly adapting to the environment. This may lead to newer cosmetic materials that are more dynamic so as to mimic the dynamic property of healthy natural teeth.

Reference:

Paddock, C. (2015, June 17). “Scientists show how nanostructure of dentin stops teeth cracking.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295501.php.