Are Teeth Bones?

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Teeth are strong and white, just like bones. They also store calcium, just like bones. Due to these similarities, you may be wondering: are teeth bones?

What Are Bones Made Of?

Bones are mostly made of collagen, a type of protein, explains the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Calcium phosphate, a mineral, is the other main component of your bones. Collagen gives the bones a soft framework, while calcium phosphate is what makes them hard and strong.

Bones are made of living tissues, so throughout your life, they're constantly remodeled. Old bone tissue is broken down and removed, and then new tissue is created to replace the old. This cycle keeps your bones strong and healthy.

What Are Teeth Made Of?

Enamel – the hard, outer layer of your teeth – is made of minerals like calcium phosphate. Enamel is harder than your bones. In fact, it's the hardest substance in your whole body. However, unlike your bones, your enamel doesn't contain any living tissues.

Dentin is the tissue underneath your enamel. This bone-like tissue makes up most of your teeth's structure, and it's very susceptible to the bacteria that cause tooth sensitivity and cavities. The soft core of your tooth is called the pulp. The pulp is a living tissue that contains connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels.

Functional Differences

A big difference between teeth and bones is how they heal. When you break a bone, your body begins the healing process right away, explains a study published in the journal Injury. A soft callus made of collagen forms on the broken tissue, and later, a hard callus forms as new bone tissue is produced.

In comparison, broken teeth don't have the ability to heal themselves. Since your enamel doesn't contain any living tissue, it can't make a callus to heal itself. So, if your enamel gets cracked or chipped, it will stay that way until your dentist repairs it. Similarly, if you develop a cavity, your tooth can't grow new enamel to fill the decayed area. You'll need to see your dentist to have it treated.

Protecting Your Teeth

Since your teeth don't regenerate, it's very important to protect them. Fortunately, maintaining a great oral hygiene routine can help keep your enamel in tip-top shape.

It's vital to control the bacteria that cause cavities. Remember to brush your teeth twice per day with your Colgate® 360°® Advanced 4 Zone Toothbrush, which removes bacteria from teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums. Floss once per day, too. See your dentist regularly so that if you do develop a cavity, it can be repaired promptly, before it gets worse.

Are teeth bones? The answer is no. While teeth and bones may look similar, they're very different. Your bones can heal themselves when they get broken, but your teeth can't, so it's important to see your dentist if your teeth have decay or are cracked or fractured.