A baby shark’s tooth, which may have been damaged by its owner, could be causing tooth decay and bleaching.
A new study finds that the dentin of the baby shark can degrade faster than a baby’s tooth.
It’s not clear why the tooth needs to age to this extent, but the researchers say the study provides new insights into the mechanism by which this could happen.
The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.
It suggests that bleaching and dentin degradation occur in tandem.
The dentin is made of keratin, a protein made up of keratins.
When a shark eats its prey, it breaks the keratin in its mouth, releasing the protein.
When that protein breaks down, it creates more keratin to make the next step in the process.
When the tooth is broken, the keratin molecules become less efficient, so less material can be released into the mouth and eventually decay.
It doesn’t appear that the same process occurs with the dentins of babies.
But the researchers note that there’s more research that needs to be done to understand what’s happening here.
“The main thing is to look at the dynamics of the mechanism of how it occurs,” says study lead author Tarek Sadek, a research scientist at The Ohio State University in Columbus.
“We can use this as a starting point to look into the mechanisms that may be involved.”
The findings, Sadekh says, are exciting.
“If we can learn how this is occurring in a specific model, we could actually be able to intervene to prevent tooth decay.”
The scientists used a type of fluorescent dye that attaches to the surface of the teeth and shines light through them to see how the proteins that make up the teeth degrade.
They also used a microscope to examine the dentons of sharks that were infected with a disease called keratolysis, which causes the cells in the teeth to die.
Sadeku, who was not involved in the study, was excited to see the results.
“What we’re seeing here is that these proteins are being degraded more rapidly in these infected teeth than they would be in normal teeth,” he says.
“In normal teeth, you have the ability to release the proteins, but they just don’t do that in these teeth.”
It’s also unclear why the damaged dentin would break down more quickly than normal teeth.
The researchers think that the cells inside the teeth that make the dentine are responding to stressors that might lead to their death.
If a shark is exposed to a certain stressor, the cells make more of these proteins, and this can increase the damage that happens to the tooth.
“It’s possible that the stressor is the one causing the tooth to decay, but it’s also possible that it’s the stressors causing the cells to degrade,” Sadeki says.
But it’s not just the teeth of the animals that are at risk from bleaching or dentin damage.
The teeth of other animals also degrade faster.
The team examined the teeth from a variety of different species of sharks, including sharks from the deep sea, dolphins, and porpoises.
They found that sharks in captivity aged less quickly than in the wild.
The sharks also showed a greater frequency of bone disease and tooth loss.
This could be due to different processes happening in the body.
“All the animals we studied showed a high degree of tissue damage,” Sidek says.
The findings are important because the dentis is the major component of the body’s immune system.
It protects teeth, teeth, and bones from damage from bacteria and viruses, as well as the stresses of the ocean environment.
The immune system is so important to our health, that the scientists are working on ways to improve its function.
“Dental aging is very important for the health of the immune system, and we’re very interested in finding ways to slow down this aging process,” Sudek says, noting that the team plans to study the effects of different factors on the immune systems of various species.
“Ultimately, we want to see if we can slow down these processes that we see affecting our immune systems.”
The team also hopes to determine whether the bleaching-and-dental process that’s causing the problem is the same as the process that causes other types of disease.
The scientists also hope to learn whether the disease itself is responsible for the increased aging in the sharks.
Sudeck says that the research team is already in the early stages of studying the effects the disease has on the teeth.
“At this point, it’s just a hypothesis, but we’re still very interested to see what happens,” he explains.
“For us, it just comes down to a question of how do we improve the immune function of the sharks and the sharks are very dependent on it.”
Sadeks research also focuses on the effect of the stress on the sharks, and on how they respond to this stress