Sydney: Dentists can now size up the mineral content of tooth enamel non-invasively with the help of laser-generated ultrasound, says a new study.
Wang and his adviser Simon Fleming, physics professor at the U-S Institute of Photonics and Optical Science, worked on the study with U-S dental researchers and ultrasonic researchers from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Stronger than bone, enamel is the hardest and the most mineralised substance of the human body -- one of the reasons why human teeth can survive for centuries after a person has died. It envelops teeth in a protective layer that shields the underlying dentin from decay, said an U-S release. Enamel demineralisation is caused by bad oral hygiene. Not brushing, for instance, can lead to the build-up of dental plaques, and bacteria in these plaques will absorb sugars and other carbohydrates a person chews and produce acids that will dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel. These findings were described in the latest issue of Optics Express, Optical Society`s (OSA) open-access journal. IANS
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