They may look similar, and share a lot of the same properties, but contrary to popular belief, your teeth are not made of the same substance as your bones. Though they’re still considered a part of your skeletal system, teeth possess properties far different from the 206 bones in your body, from how they’re built to how they respond to injuries. In many cases, knowing the difference can be vital to preserving your healthy, beautiful, natural smile.
How They’re Made
Healthy adult teeth are comprised of layers; a semi-translucent layer of enamel surrounds the main portion of your tooth, called dentin, which encompasses a hollow chamber called the pulp at the tooth’s center. Pulp houses a mass of nerves and blood vessels that are connected to the tooth’s roots, which extend into your upper or lower jawbone (the maxilla or mandible, respectively).
Bones also contain a living, dynamic substance; however, the protein, collagen, is a dynamically growing tissue that lends your bones the flexibility to effectively absorb weight and pressure. Also, since bones aren’t exposed, they don’t require a protective layer of mineralized enamel to surround and protect them.
How They Work
Bones and teeth contain many of the same minerals, including calcium and phosphate, that make them strong and able to withstand great amounts of pressure. While your bones consistently support the weight of your body, your teeth sustain the incredible forces of biting and chewing. The difference, however, is that the proteins that form teeth enamel stretch these minerals thousands of times longer than those of your bones, making them the most resilient substance your body produces.
How They Heal
If you break a bone, collagen and other biological factors allow the bone to heal. Unfortunately, if a tooth is damaged or infected by decay, it can’t heal itself or regrow the tissue that’s been lost. Dental issues involving injury to one or more teeth require the expertise of a dentist to correct, or else the tooth can suffer further damage and possibly loss.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.