Are Teeth Bones

Are Teeth Bones?

Has this question ever popped in your mind if you are actually carrying bones in your mouth, 32 naked bones! Well don’t worry you are not as “teeth are not bones”.


The important question is why teeth are not considered bones when these are as strong as bones or may be sometimes even stronger as these are made up of hardest substance in body; the enamel.

Well there are many a differences in bones and teeth from structure to function and from regeneration to defense.

Tooth Composition: What are Teeth Made of ?

Picture Anatomy of the Tooth
Image Source: kosmicki.com

Enamel

The tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body. So to answer the question, “Are teeth harder than bones?” The answer is yes, teeth are harder than bones because of this enamel.

Primarily made of crystalline calcium phosphate, the enamel is the part of the body which contains the most minerals which is why teeth are considered as one of the strongest parts of our body. 96% of the enamel is made up of minerals. The remaining 4% is made up of organic substances and water. Its color ranges from grayish white to light yellow.

Dentin

The dentin is a connective tissue made up of collagen and minerals. For the most part, it is composed of 70% inorganic minerals. The other 20% and 10% is contributed by organic minerals and water, respectively. It is softer than enamel so it is easier to develop tooth cavity and decay if the teeth are not properly cared for.

Cementum

The cementum surrounds the root of the tooth. It anchors the tooth on the periodontal ligaments for it to be stable. Without the cementum, your tooth will be moving on its own with just a slight body motion. It is made up of 45% hydroxyapatite and other inorganic substances, 33% collagen and other organic substances, and 22% water.

Pulp

The dental pulp or the root canal is a soft connective tissue located at the central part of the tooth which contains nerves and blood vessels [1].

Differences between the Teeth and Bones

  • Teeth are made up of enamel, dentine and dental pulp cavity, the core of any tooth. This pulp cavity is the very part responsible for sensations in tooth. Whereas bones are made up of collagen that forms a loose matrix, which is filled up by minerals like calcium and phosphate that give strength to bones and make them moveable and flexible.
  • Bones are storehouse of important minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and sodium but teeth are not.
    Bones contain an important substance within them, the bone marrow, which produces red and white blood cells. Red blood cells are the main constituents of blood and white blood cells serve as defense mechanism of our body. Teeth do not contain marrow but dental pulp, which does not perform this function.
  • Bones have regenerative capacity because the periosteum that surrounds the bone contains osteoblasts that are capable of producing new bones for growth and repair. Hence, a broken bone can heal back to normal. Tooth doesn’t grow back when destroyed.
  • Teeth come in 2 sets in life: milk teeth and permanent teeth. Such is not the case with bones.
  • Teeth are visible but bones are lined by skin [2, 3].

References:

  1. Tooth accessed on http://periogen.com/pages/tooth.html
  2. Why Are Teeth Not Considered Bones? accessed on http://www.livescience.com/33130-why-are-teeth-not-considered-bones.html
  3. You were wondering: Are teeth bones? accessed on http://archive.delawareonline.com/article/20130507/HEALTH/305070005/You-were-wondering-teeth-bones-

Published on by under Dental Health.
Article was last reviewed on September 11th, 2016.



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