Are Teeth Considered Bones?
The question whether or not teeth are considered bones is one of the most debated topics among medical professionals. Some believe that they are not; while others think so. There have been many studies conducted to determine if teeth are indeed bones. They all come up with different results. Many times it seems like there is no consensus regarding this topic, but then again, sometimes the experts disagree!
What Is A Bone?
A bone is a hard, dense tissue found throughout your body. Your skeleton contains some bones, which make up the main parts of your skeleton. These include: vertebrae (the long thin rods that connect to each other), ribs (long tubes that carry blood from your heart to various vital organs inside your body) and sternum (a large piece of bone at the front of your ribcage). Other bones include: pubic bone (which holds your testicles), coccyx (an elongated bone located between your back ribs and above your tailbone), ilium (a small curved bone near the top of your spine), clavicle (a thick metal plate at the base of your neck) and humerus (the upper arm bone).
Your teeth are made up of three layers: enamel, dentin and root. Enamel is the outside layer. It is an extremely hard substance that is made up of crystals of calcium and phosphate. Dentin is the next layer, and it is a slightly softer than enamel. The innermost layer of the tooth is the root.
It holds the tooth in place.All bones are covered with a thin layer of tissue called periosteum, which produces new bone cells (Odontoblasts).
What Are Teeth?
Teeth are small structures in your mouth that are made up of a hard tissue. There are two types of teeth: Incisors and canine. Incisors are what you use to cut food, and they are considered to be the front teeth. The top (or maxilla) incisors are located near the center of your upper jaw. The bottom (or mandible) incisors are located near the corners of your mouth. Canine teeth are pointed conical structures which are used for puncturing or tearing. They are also known as fangs.
Molars function to grind food into small pieces before it is swallowed. They are located at the back of the mouth and tend to be larger than other teeth. All teeth feature a root, crown and neck, which connects them to the jawbone. The root is embedded in the jawbone and cannot be seen. The crown is the most visible part of the tooth.
It consists of a white outer covering (Cementum) and a pink inner layer (Dentine). The neck is the area where the root of the tooth connects to the jawbone. A small canal runs through this area, which connects to an even smaller canal inside the tooth.
What Are Teeth Not?
Teeth are not bones. Teeth are not just one layer of hard tissue. Teeth are not all white. Teeth are not always in the mouth.
Teeth are also not alive. They do not bleed if you cut them out of your gums or grind them down to nothing. Teeth do not have nerves except in the very tip. Teeth are not alive, so they do not need to eat, drink or breathe. You do all of that for them.
How Are Teeth Built?
Teeth are created when an embryo develops within the womb. The process starts when an egg (ovum) is fertilized by a single spermatazoa (sperm cell). The combined genetic material from both the mother and father (23 chromosomes from each) then combines to form a new single cell. This cell then divides into two, and then four, and so on, until it becomes an embryo.
As the embryo grows, the bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, etc. begin to form. Teeth also begin to form at exactly week 5 of fetal development.
Tooth development occurs in a very specific order. The outer enamel layer of the tooth forms first. The inner dentin layer and roots of the tooth then begin to form over the next few weeks. By week 12 of fetal development, all of the primary (baby) teeth have formed. The molars are the last teeth to begin forming in the womb.
Around week 13, they start forming at the back of the mouth, and will not finish forming until a few months after birth.
What Happens To Teeth?
Once all the primary (baby) teeth have formed, their purpose is to last until the permanent teeth erupt within the mouth. The order in which teeth erupt is very important. Otherwise, your mouth would be overcrowded!
Permanent (adult) teeth start erupting (or breaking through the gums) between ages 5 and 7.
Sources & references used in this article:
Radiological evaluation of marginal bone loss at tooth surfaces facing single Brånemark implants by M Esposito, A Ekestubbe… – Clinical Oral Implants …, 1993 – Wiley Online Library
A model of fossil tooth and bone diagenesis: implications for by Y Wang, TE Cerling – Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology …, 1994 – academia.edu
Interventions for replacing missing teeth: bone augmentation techniques for dental implant treatment by M Esposito, MG Grusovin, S Kwan… – Cochrane database …, 2008 – cochranelibrary.com
Preparation and characterization of bone and tooth collagen for isotopic analysis by SH Ambrose – Journal of archaeological science, 1990 – Elsevier
Biological reaction of alveolar bone to orthodontic tooth movement by B Melsen – The Angle Orthodontist, 1999 – meridian.allenpress.com
Method for radiographic assessment of alveolar bone level at endosseous implants and abutment teeth by TA Larheim, H Wie, L Tveito… – European Journal of Oral …, 1979 – Wiley Online Library
Kinetics of lead storage in teeth and bones: an epidemiologic approach by A Steenhout – Archives of Environmental Health: An International …, 1982 – Taylor & Francis