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Are teeth bones?

Dec 11, 2023Oral health

Are teeth bones?

The question of whether teeth and bones are the same has been a frequently asked for several years. Although teeth and bones do share many similarities, they are not identical entities. There are many similarities between teeth and bones, as they both have similar composition, function, and developmental process within the body. However, it is essential to acknowledge the notable distinctions between these two bodily structures.

Teeth are one of the strongest materials in your bodily composition due to their high calcium content, similar to bones. Nearly all of the calcium present in your system is located in your teeth and bones, accounting for over 99% of the total amount, while the rest can be found in your blood.


What Are Teeth Made Of?

Dental structures are primarily composed of calcium with enamel being the outermost layer consisting of a compound known as calcium phosphate. The durability of tooth enamel can be attributed to the remarkable strength of calcium phosphate, rendering it one of the toughest bodily materials.

Enamel, despite its strength, lacks any living matter which renders it unable to regenerate or heal itself in the event of damage or breakage.

Beneath the hard protective layer of enamel lies dentin which constitutes a major portion of every tooth. The soft and sensitive core of the tooth, dental pulp, rests below the dentin layer. It houses blood vessels, nerves, and arteries that provide blood supply and sensation to the teeth.


Structural differences of Teeth and Bones

In terms of structural composition, there exists a remarkable resemblance between teeth and bones. Specifically, both these body parts exhibit a common trait in the form of an outer layer that is dense and robust, encasing a softer yet flexible interior. The cortical bone serves to embody this exterior layer for bones, while enamel undertakes this role for teeth. Bones possess a system of intricately arranged small cavities and channels, commonly known as trabeculae, that are charged with the vital task of hosting bone marrow. On the other hand, teeth accommodate a delicate pulpy substance termed as pulp within their center, which essentially houses nerves and blood vessels.


Functionality of Teeth

The composition and structure of teeth and bones exhibit a number of similarities, yet their respective roles within the body vary. Bones are crucial for providing structural support to the body, safeguarding vital organs, and enabling movement. The primary function of teeth is to aid in the mastication process of food by reducing it into smaller pieces for easier consumption and digestion. Additionally, teeth have a vital role in communication as they are essential in forming speech and facial expressions.


Differences between Bones and Teeth

Although there are some shared characteristics, teeth and bones exhibit notable distinctions. A significant difference between them is that teeth are not categorized as bones due to their unattachment to other bones in the human anatomy. Teeth are embedded in the gums and the jawbone but they are not constituent of the skeletal structure. Moreover, the dynamic nature of bones allows for constant remodeling in response to stress and strain, unlike teeth which lack regenerative properties. Bones, being living tissue, inherently have the ability to add or remove bone tissue as necessary, a feature that teeth do not possess.

It should be noted that teeth and bones differ considerably in their capability to self-heal. Bones have the capacity to recuperate from substantial harm, such as a fracture or breakage. Teeth lack the ability to regenerate themselves, making them susceptible to damage or decay. Regrettably, teeth do not possess any inherent restorative capabilities, hence dental interventions like fillings, root canals, or dental crowns are necessary to repair them.


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