Dentist Sandy Springs: Mussels Anyone?

musselsFirst it was coconut oil and now its mussel glue.  What you’ve been eating for dinner may put a smile on the faces of those with sensitive teeth.  It’s actually kind of genius.  Mollusks can attach themselves to wet surfaces, how?  Their glue possesses particular characteristics that may perform a similar task in sealing the exposed dentine tubules that lead to the pulpal nerve.  Natural solutions may be the wave of the future for dentistry.

Researchers at the University of Hong Kong and the Anhui Medical University coated acid-eroded human teeth with a chemical similar to the protein-based glue that mussels produce to attach themselves to wet, solid surfaces. They then immersed the teeth in a mineral solution and found the “glue” helped in forming mineral crystals on their surface and inner dentine layer.[1]  “In the future, we may develop products with the chemical to be applied on sensitive teeth, or dentists might use it as a treatment.”[2]

When compared with eroded teeth samples that were not coated with the mussel glue made of polydopamine, the coated samples re-mineralized more effectively after both were immersed in a calcium-and-phosphate solution for a week.  The researchers concluded that polydopamine, an organic chemical that mimics how mussels make their powerful adhesive, alters the tooth surface to stimulate mineral formation on the inner dentine layer.  At some point in the future, just like coconut oil, we may see mussels introduced into our routine oral health care.

If we can be of assistance, please give us a shout.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


[2] Dr. Cao Ying, a PhD dentistry student at the University of Hong Kong who took part in the study.

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