Animal habits

21 March 2022
3 min read

Tom Alcraft looks to nature for oral health solutions.

Humans share many similarities with our animal counterparts – for example, we share many traits with great apes, our nearest relatives. These include large body sizes, longer lifespans, socialisation and tool use. One similarity that we share with the majority of animals is that of teeth – from snails to sharks, crocodiles to cats, teeth function as a means to tear, chew and grind food. Our teeth may come in different shapes and sizes, but we all rely on them in order to process our food and sustain ourselves. However, it is humans who are constantly at risk of developing oral health issues – in the UK alone, over 3m Britons suffer from regular oral pain, almost 31 per cent have tooth decay and 74 per cent have had a tooth extracted. So, do animals experience oral health issues like humans do? How do they keep their mouths clean?

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