They’re incredibly strong, and they contain many of the same minerals, but contrary to popular belief, your teeth are not identical to your bones. Though strikingly similar in many respects, your teeth are located in your mouth, while your bones are inside of your body. One of the more vital differences is that, unlike your bones, your teeth require daily care and maintenance to remain healthy, on top of a well-balanced diet that supplies them with necessary minerals.
Bones vs. Teeth
The average human body weighs somewhere between 100 and 200 pounds, and the 206 bones in your body constantly carry that weight around. The 32 permanent teeth in a typical adult mouth (or 28, minus the four wisdom teeth) are consistently subjected to the pressure of your bite, and are designed to withstand it without breaking. If a bone is damaged, then it can heal itself if set properly and given enough time. If a tooth is damaged, however, the injury will grow worse until the tooth is treated. While bones and teeth contain many of the same ingredients, teeth don’t possess the cells necessary to regenerate or repair themselves, making professional dental care vital to your teeth’s existence.
Proteins and Minerals
The minerals that comprise bones and teeth are known as calcium hydroxyapatite, and are shaped by proteins that govern your body’s bone and teeth formation. The proteins that create your tooth enamel, the highly-mineralized and super-resilient coating over your teeth, stretch their supply of hydroxyapatites into strands that are thousands of times longer and stronger than the strands that comprise your bones. Its unique construction allows tooth enamel to absorb incredible amounts of pressure without sustaining structural damage.
Threats to Strong Teeth
Though enamel is the most resilient substance your body produces, it isn’t impervious to damage. When certain oral bacteria consume sugar and other carbohydrates, they produce acid that attacks and dissolves tooth enamel. Known as demineralization, bacterial acid saps essential minerals from your teeth, weakening enamel and preventing it from regaining strength (remineralization). Good hygiene helps control bacteria, plaque, and organic acid production, and fluoride (found in toothpaste) provides additional protection by binding to enamel and improving its strength.
About Your Park Ridge Dentists:
Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly-skilled restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentists serving the Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.