It helps to explain why sharks are so effective at either tearing or cutting prey. Their teeth are perfectly designed for such tasks, never suffering from cavities, according to the study, recently published in the Journal of Structural Biology,
While shark teeth contain the mineral fluoroapatite (fluorinated calcium phosphate), the teeth of humans and other mammals contain hydroxyapatite, which is an inorganic constituent also found in bone, explained co-author Matthias Epple.
â€œIn order to make teeth more acid resistant, toothpaste often contains fluoride,â€ Epple, a professor of inorganic chemistry at the University of Duisburg-Essen, told Discovery News. â€œIn the surface of human teeth after brushing, a small amount — much less than 1 percent — of hydroxide is exchanged by fluoride.â€
â€œIn contrast,â€ he added, â€œ(the surface of) shark teeth contains 100 percent fluoride. In principle, sharks should not suffer from caries. As they live in water and as they change their teeth regularly, dental protection should not be a problem for sharks.â€