Puffer fish are known for their poisonous bodies. These ocean fish puff up into a spiky ball when approached by threats. Pufferfish have teeth and something resembling a beak. Research shows that, following the fish’s initial tooth development may offer insight into spontaneous tooth replacement. One particular study focused on the pufferfish beak. The development of this part of the fish’s anatomy is dictated by genes which have remained consistent for upwards of 400 million years.

What Researchers Say About the Pufferfish

Dr. Gareth Fraser led research at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences on the pufferfish’s beak. The scientist noted that the beak is a “model for a simplified tooth replacement system – composed of just four continually replacing teeth that make up the beak structure.” If future research can discern how pufferfish (and other similar aquatic animals) are able to continuously replace lost teeth, they may also determine why humans don’t do the same. Pin-pointing this information may aid in advances in dentistry regarding the replacement of missing teeth. Other animals which have been the subject of similar studies include sharks and crocodiles.

Keep Your Second Set of Teeth for Life

At Riverside Dental Group, we are dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest developments and advances in dentistry. If a time comes in your future when you might be able to spontaneously regenerate lost permanent teeth, this will be great news. However, you want to make sure that you take good care of the teeth you have, and try to avoid tooth loss if at all possible. Over 600 different types of bacteria are swarming around in your  mouth at any given time. Some are responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. Keeping up with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups is important. So is wearing an athletic mouthguard when you play high contact sports, to avoid traumatic dental injuries.

Visit your Riverside Dentists

To schedule an appointment with one of our Riverside dentists, contact us at (951) 689-5031. We have six dental offices throughout Southern California, including Corona, Temecula, and Moreno Valley.