A guest-post from the UMBC’s Kavan Peterson:
The closest thing China has to a tooth fairy might be Dwayne Arola, an engineering professor from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County who has a thing for Asian choppers.
Prof. Arola is an innovative engineer here at UMBC who may be the Baby Boom generation’s best hope for maintaining a healthy set of teeth into later life. The Baltimore Sun’s Chris Emery explains in a news story today:
Not long ago, Arola returned from a trip to Shanghai with a plastic lunch box containing a dozen prime specimens from Chinese dental patients – large, cavity-free wisdom teeth – destined to endure a regimen of abuse that he once reserved for aircraft parts.
How the Chinese molars hold up under Arola’s stress tests may explain why Chinese teeth are more brittle than American teeth. Ultimately, that knowledge might lead to a dental Fountain of Youth: a high-tech process to make old teeth young again, and less prone to cracking under pressure.
“We are trying to figure out how fast cracks grow and why they grow faster in older people,” said Arola, 41. “Ultimately, we’d like to figure out how to arrest those cracks.”
Bravo Prof. Arola! While exploitative anti-aging industries are making billions of dollars peddling farcical fountain of youth products that often harm people, it’s refreshing to see someone genuinely working to improve the quality of life for older adults.
Read more here about what inspired Prof. Arola — an aerospace engineer by training – to tackle one of the brittlest facts of aging – teeth.