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Are Teeth Bones?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

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

It's a great question. As you read on, we'll examine what your bones and teeth are made of and the difference between them. We'll also look at how to protect your teeth.

What Are Bones Made Of?

Bones are mostly made of collagen, which is a type of protein. They're also made up of calcium phosphate, which is a mineral. Collagen gives your bones their soft framework, while calcium phosphate makes them strong and hard.

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

What Are Teeth Made Of?

Your teeth are composed of multiple layers that include both hard and soft tissue. Enamel, dentin, and cementum are the harder sections, whereas pulp is the softer portion of the tooth.

Enamel is the hard outer layer made of minerals like calcium phosphate. Even though calcium phosphate is in your bones, enamel is actually harder than your bones. In fact, it's the hardest substance in your body. Unlike your bones, enamel doesn't contain any living tissues.

Beneath your tooth's enamel, there's a bone-like tissue called dentin, which makes up most of your teeth's structure. It's susceptible to the bacteria that cause tooth sensitivity and cavities.

Cementum is present in the next layer. It's a bone-like structure that surrounds the root of your tooth. It helps to attach the tooth to the bone surrounding the tooth. It's mostly made of type I collagen and protein polysaccharides.

The softcore of your tooth is called the pulp. The pulp is a living tissue that contains connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels.

Functional Differences

The most significant difference between teeth and bones is how they heal. When you break a bone, your body begins the healing process right away—a soft callus made of collagen forms on the broken tissue. As you continue to heal, hard callus forms as new bone tissue is produced.

Broken teeth, on the other hand, don't have the ability to heal themselves. Since your enamel doesn't contain any living tissue, it can't create a callus to heal itself. So, if your enamel gets cracked or chipped or if you develop a cavity, your dentist will need to help you out.

Protecting Your Teeth

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

It's vital to control the bacteria that cause cavities. Remember to brush your teeth twice per day and to floss daily. Also, see your dentist regularly so that if you do develop a cavity, it can be repaired promptly before causing any other troubles.

Now you know the deal when it comes to the question: "Are teeth bones?" While teeth and bones look similar and have some similar components, they're very different. The main difference is that your bones can heal themselves, and your teeth can't. Because of that, it's always important to see your dentist if you have any decay, cracks, or fractures. If this is the case for you, make an appointment with your dentist ASAP, so your teeth can feel as strong and healthy as ever.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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