Have you ever wondered what your teeth are made of? They look like bones, but they’re actually substantially different from bones in a few ways. The outer part of your tooth is called the enamel. This is the white, rock-hard mineral that protects your teeth. The next layer is called the dentin, which is made up of living cells that secrete a hard mineral substance. In the center of your tooth is the pulp, where blood vessels and nerves live.
Your tooth is connected to your jaw bone by the root. There is a part of the tooth in the root called the “root canal”. This is the pathway for nerve and blood vessels to go down the tooth and into the jaw bone. When someone gets “root canal therapy”, it means the dentist is cleaning out the infected deep pulp of the tooth inside the root canal and filling it to ensure the rest of the tooth doesn’t become decayed and compromised.
Why Are Teeth Not Considered Bones?
The enamel is the most mineralized substance in your entire body. It covers each and every tooth, and is made up of minerals, mostly hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite is known as bone mineral, but it is the carbonated calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite that makes up dental enamel and dentin.
Bones are made of a protein collagen which is a living, growing tissue. This is what allows bones to withstand pressure and gives them a flexible framework. Bones also contain osteoblasts, which are cells that can produce new bone growth and repair. You may have noticed that your teeth can’t regenerate themselves. Once you’ve developed a cavity, there is no way your tooth can repair itself. Bones also have bone marrow that produces both white and red blood cells. Teeth do not produce any blood cells at all.
Teeth Are Strong But Delicate
Even though your teeth are covered with the strongest and hardest mineral in your body, it can easily be broken down by sugar or lack of oral hygiene. Skimping on brushing, flossing, and getting regular teeth cleanings will lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and potentially tooth loss. Your teeth are strong, but you need to take care of them! Until we discover regenerative powers for your teeth, they’re the only ones you’ll get!
Make sure you keep your teeth and gums healthy by scheduling an appointment at Riverstone Dental Care. Our experienced dental team will make sure you have a healthy and bright smile to last you a lifetime.