Teeth and bones are the hardest substances in a human body, comprising about 15% of a person’s total body weight. But are they made of the same substances? In fact, they are not. While they share some properties, there are many fundamental differences between our bones and our teeth.
Some Facts About Bones
Bones are living tissues composed of collagen and calcium phosphate. These two substances give our bones the amazing combination of strength, with a flexible framework. Our bodies are always breaking down and remaking our bones, just like the other living tissues in our body. This is why a healthy diet full of calcium-rich foods is so important, since we don’t want to leave our bones lacking anything they need. Exercise is also essential in keeping our bones strong, especially weight-bearing activities.
Another big difference between bones and teeth is that bones can heal from a break. When a bone breaks or is fractured, an incredible process immediately begins. A soft collagen “callus” forms on the broken bones, which in time is replaced with a hard callus of bone material. Even major breaks heal with time, leaving us all patched up.
And Facts About Teeth
Unfortunately, it is not so with our teeth. A broken tooth, a cracked molar, or a chipped front tooth will never heal on its own, even with all the calcium we could manage to ingest. A broken tooth needs the immediate attention of a Sacramento Dentistry Group dentist, who is able to use the latest techniques to repair that break, chip, or crack. You get the function of the tooth back, but unlike a bone, it could never have repaired itself.
Another difference between teeth and bones is that teeth are not living tissues, at least on the outside. The only part of the teeth we usually see is the enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. It’s made up chiefly of calcium phosphate, and has no nerves or blood supply. In effect, enamel is the hard protective cover, the armor, for your teeth. While some remineralization of the tooth enamel is possible, it cannot repair itself on a large scale like bones do. Thus, we need to fill cavities and fix tooth decay.
Under your tooth enamel there is a layer called dentin. Even though this tissue is relatively strong, like your bones, it is easily damaged by decay and acids. Inside the dentin is the pulp, and this is where your teeth have living tissues with nerves and blood supply, giving the tooth life and sensation.
Where Bones and Teeth are Similar
Just like the bones, however, diet matters for your teeth! A regular menu full of whole foods that require chewing and chomping makes your jawbone strong. Staying away from sticky and sugary snacks limits the havoc caused by oral bacteria. And avoiding the acids in sodas, both regular and diet, or in sour candies, preserves your tooth enamel.
Breaking a tooth, or even just chipping one, is quite a traumatic event. The staff at the Sacramento Dentistry Group is prepared for such events. Call us immediately if you have any concerns about a broken or damaged tooth. While we can’t make you grow a new tooth, we know just what to do so you can have your smile back.