Are Teeth Considered Bones?

Skeleton showing teeth

Even though teeth and bones seem very similar, they are actually different. Teeth are not bones. Yes, both are white in color and they do indeed store calcium, but that’s where their similarities end.

Teeth

Teeth are made out of enamel, which might be a familiar term to you. Enamel is the outer-layer of your tooth, the visible part and is responsible for protecting your teeth. The other tissues that your teeth are made up of are dentin, cementum and pulp. Teeth are the hardest parts of our bodies because of the enamel which consists of calcium phosphate. Unfortunately, enamel isn’t made of living tissue and can wear away over time.

Dentin lies beneath the enamel and is very sensitive to bacteria which can cause dental sensitivity and even cavities. Pulp is the soft, living core of a tooth that is made up of nerves and vessels running through it. Lastly, cementum is a layer of connective tissue that is responsible for keeping the teeth attached to the gum and jawbone. Teeth do not have the ability to heal themselves because no living tissue exists in the enamel. This is why when a tooth is chipped or cracked, or a cavity forms, visiting the dentist is necessary. No new enamel will form and without properly treating the tooth, the problem will only worsen over time.

Bones

On the other hand, bones are made of living tissue, so the tissue is constantly being broken down and replaced with new tissue. This repeating cycle is what keeps our bones healthy and strong. Bones, like enamel, are also made up of part calcium phosphate, but they mostly consist of a protein called collagen. As you are probably aware, the majority of broken bones are able to heal, and this process starts almost immediately. Soft callus on the injury is eventually replaced by hard callus and new bone tissue will eventually take its place, all because of the living tissue.

Protect Your Teeth

Now that you know teeth are not considered bones, and will not heal themselves, you’ll want to take extra good care of them. Remember to brush twice a day, floss, use mouthwash and most importantly, visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

To schedule your dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.

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