A Healthy Smile!
Dental cavities and gum disease disproportionately impact low-income and rural communities. The major culprit is tooth decay, caused by a buildup of acid and plaque. Researchers are developing a tool that may someday help dentists identify high acidity. It is a hand-held device that can assess the amount of acidity in the plaque on teeth and could also be used in homes and by health workers in schools and rural clinics. Learn more on NSF's "The Discovery Files."
Credit: National Science Foundation
A Healthy Smile!
This is The Discovery Files, from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Hmmm... a juicy, delicious apple!
There are many benefits of having healthy teeth and gums! You can enjoy taking a bite out of an apple, have improved overall health, and have a healthy, beautiful smile.
Yet, dental cavities and gum disease disproportionately impact low-income and rural communities. The major culprit is tooth decay, caused by a buildup of acid and plaque.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children and adolescents and it can have consequences, when left untreated.
With funding in part from NSF, researchers at the University of Washington are developing a tool that may someday help dentists identify high acidity, where that next cavity might occur.
It is a hand-held device that uses a low power light, which measures the reactions to a chemical dye applied to teeth, so that it can assess the amount of acidity in the plaque, a key indicator of eventual tooth decay.
The tool could also be used in homes and by health workers in schools and rural clinics.
For many, it will provide greater access to a healthy smile.
Go ahead! Take a bite! Take a bite out of tooth decay!
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