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Could a mouthful of squid ink replace painful dental probes for gum disease?

A University of California, San Diego, nanoengineer is developing a way, using ultrasound and squid ink, to replace the worst part of the dental exam.
The ink used in this experiment came from a cuttlefish like this one.

It’s one of the worst parts of a dental checkup — painful probing with sharp instruments to look for signs of gum disease. The time-consuming and sometimes bloody process keeps patients fearful, hygienists frustrated, and dentists worried they might be missing important symptoms.

Now a nanoengineer in San Diego says he’s got a possible solution. It involves imaging gums after patients swish around a mouthful of squid ink.

Jesse Jokerst, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, whose research includes finding new medical uses for ultrasound, was at his dentist getting scraped, poked, and prodded when he

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