Wondering about wild grapes

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tooth Trivia

First, let me say that I didn’t take my telescope out last night. I kept going out and checking the sky, and it started to clear but didn’t quite make it. At 22:00 it was still mostly overcast. The clouds were thin and I could make out two or three stars, but not a good night for viewing. It is too much trouble to set up and then not be able to use it.

OK, how about some tooth trivia, thanks to the magazine, Discover.

Did you know that tooth enamel is harder than copper but slightly less hard than a stainless steel fork? Maybe that is why silver is better (grin).

In your mouth, its native bacteria produce acids that leach calcium and phosphate from the enamel, which leads to cavities. Those acids are a by-product of the bacteria when it digests sugars. Before the invention of refined sugar, cavities were rare.

In the 18th–century England, wealthy women might have opted for a tooth transplant, which was briefly popular among the upper classes. These operations usually failed, and worse, the transplanted teeth often carried syphilis. Try explaining that to your spouse; “No – really, honey, it was the dentist’s fault!” Yea, sure. . .

Your teeth begin developing in utero at about six weeks from conception. Long after birth, they retain substances to which the fetus was exposed creating a record of nutritional and environmental exposures of the child and the mother. A tooth bank in Norway plans to collect baby teeth to study the relationship between pollution and disease.

Last year a Mississippi woman became the first American to undergo osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis, a treatment for blindness caused by corneal damage. An extracted tooth is sculpted to form a frame for a tiny lens and is then implanted in the eye. How could it be otherwise? The tooth of choice for the procedure: a canine, or eyetooth!!

Now, aren’t you a little smarter now about teeth? I am, thanks to Discover magazine.

Now, go check the video and song posted on Bacon and Eggs.


  1. Why didn't you post this 40 years ago? I would have taken better care of my teeth.

  2. Yep BB, I know what you mean. I am having trouble finding a tooth to chew with :-0

  3. Brings a whole new meaning to an eye for an eye(tooth) :)

  4. Thanks for the amuzing comment, SciFiChick. Sometimes truth is more amazing than fiction.

  5. Pretty interesting stuff, my friend! I guess we could say that this is information with a bite, huh?

  6. Howdy Jim, glad you could chew it up and swallow it. Thanks for stopping by.