What’s Harder, Teeth or Bones?
Your body is a miraculous thing; every component of it, from the bones to the muscles to the veins to the teeth, serves a vital purpose; without which, who knows what may go wrong.
Your incredible, complex body is tougher than it appears. Your vital organs are encircled by a structured protective shield that functions as an engineering marvel involving your skin, muscles, bones, and cartilage.
Did you know the hardest substance in the human body isn’t bones but actually a tissue?
The toughest and most durable substance in your body is a tissue that protects your teeth called the tooth enamel. Your tooth enamel is the toughest substance that protects your teeth and aids in chewing, biting, and tearing food.
What is Tooth Enamel?
Even stronger than bone is the gleaming white enamel that coats your teeth. This tough exterior is composed of 96% mineral, the highest amount of any substance in your body. Enamel gets its strength from these minerals, which helps it protect your teeth from harm and keeps them sparkling, white, and healthy.
Dental enamel creates a thin covering over each tooth despite its strength and therefore requires extra care and maintenance.
Enamel comprises 96 percent minerals, mainly calcium and phosphorus, which bind together to create a rigid crystalline structure. Proteins account for around 1% of enamel, with water accounting for the remaining 4 percent. There is no nerve or blood circulation within tooth enamel.
What Are Teeth Made of?
Enamel is only the outer coating of the tooth. The layers underneath the enamel are the dentin, cementum, and pulp. Both dentin and cementum are harder sections, whereas the pulp is the softer inner part of the tooth.
Dentin is a bone-like tissue that makes up most of the teeth’s anatomy. It’s vulnerable to the microorganisms that cause cavities and tooth discomfort.
The next layer, cementum, is a bone-like structure protecting the teeth’s roots. It is made up of mostly protein polysaccharides and collagen. It aids in the tooth’s attachment to the bone that surrounds it.
The innermost layer is the soft pulp and contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
What is the Difference between Teeth and Bones?
Although bones and teeth are both tough, white, and calcium-rich, they are not the same thing. Teeth are distinct from the body’s bones in appearance and healing.
Teeth are made up of phosphorus, calcium, and other minerals. In contrast, bones are made up of minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, sodium, and an abundance of a protein called collagen. Collagen is a living and developing substance that provides a flexible foundation for bones to tolerate pressure. Calcium fills in the gaps around that structure, strengthening the bone to carry the weight of the body.
However, bones are still not as hard or strong as teeth. Teeth are primarily of calcified tissue called dentin, the most rigid portion of the human body. The dentine tissue of the tooth is protected by enamel, the hard, shiny coating that you brush.
On the other hand, Bones are covered with a smooth, dense, slippery membrane called the periosteum. It covers almost all the bones in the body except at the joints of long bones, where it is replaced by hyaline cartilage. The periosteum comprises osteoblasts, which are cells that can produce new bone growth and regeneration.
Unfortunately, tooth enamel lacks the same healing abilities. Teeth, unlike bones, cannot mend or regrow after being fractured. Regenerative cells hurry to bridge the gaps and heal the bone when it fractures. In contrast, a broken or cracked tooth will require a dentist to undertake a root canal or extraction.
Unlike all other components in our bodies, our teeth are incapable of self-repair. When teeth are broken, they must be fixed with caps, crowns, fillings, or veneers by a qualified dentist.
Bone marrow generates white and red blood cells, whereas teeth cannot. This is another significant distinction between the two. Several arteries penetrate through the periosteum of the bone to reach the inner bone marrow, supplying blood to the bone.
Although the bleeding core of a knocked-out tooth may appear to be marrow, it is dental pulp, the living component of each tooth that comprises nerves, arteries, and veins and goes through to the jaw bone. These nerves are responsible for toothaches produced by cavities and pain when eating hot or cold foods.
Last but not least, our teeth are exposed, whereas our bones are safely hidden away beneath our muscles and skin. So, while you might need whitening strips now and then to maintain your pearly, you won’t have to think about your bones fading.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Because teeth lack the ability to heal themselves, it is of utmost importance that we take extreme care of our teeth. It is vital to keep a proper oral hygiene routine to keep teeth healthy. A good, clean smile and fresh breath are excellent ways to know about a person’s oral hygiene habits.
We have recommended a few ways you can protect your teeth and keep them healthier:
Brush Twice a Day
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, and don’t forget your tongue. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush along with fluoride toothpaste. This helps in removing bacteria, food, and germs and removes particles that erode your teeth and lead to cavities.
Don’t Overdo It!
Overdoing anything is detrimental, and the same goes for brushing your teeth. If you brush for more than 2 minutes, more than twice a day, you risk wearing down the protective enamel layer that covers your teeth.
In case the tooth enamel wears down, the dentin layer is exposed. Tiny perforations in the dentin lead to nerve terminals. You may experience various types of discomfort when these are aroused. Statistical data shows that over 20% of adults in the United States have experienced tooth discomfort and sensitivity.
Don’t Skip Brushing in the Morning
The mouth temperature is 37°C. It’s warm, moist, and full of bacteria and food particles that contribute to plaque formation. Due to these deposits, tartar is formed as it hardens on your teeth. It is also called calculus. Tartar irritates the gums and can lead to gum disease and bad breath.
Brush your teeth every morning to clear away plaque that has accumulated overnight.
Brushing too hard is also a possibility. Brush your teeth as if they were an eggshell. You’re using too much pressure on your toothbrush if it looks like somebody squatted on it.
Enamel is durable enough to resist anything that happens within your mouth, from drinking and eating to the start of the digestive process. Children and teenagers have thinner enamel than adults, making them more vulnerable to cavities and food and drink erosion.
Make your upcoming visit to the dentist as smooth as possible by flossing. Brushing misses particles that flossing loosens. It also eliminates plaque, which helps to avoid tartar formation. While plaque removal is simple, tartar removal requires the assistance of a dentist.
And it does not matter which you do first, flossing or brushing, just as long as you are consistent with doing it every day.
Say No to Sodas
Soft drinks are harmful to your teeth and your overall health and should be abstained from as much as possible.
Not only sugary drinks but also diet soda is terrible for your teeth. Soda’s acid corrodes teeth. When acid slowly destroys the enamel, it causes cavities, stains on the tooth’s surface, and erodes the tooth’s internal structure. Restrict soft drinks and brush your teeth regularly to minimize tooth decay caused by drinking.
Minerals and Vitamins that are Important to your Teeth
Even though our body is miraculous in every way, it needs a combination of various organic compounds for its everyday function and growth. Macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins are all necessary for a healthy and functioning body. These nutrients benefit your teeth just as they benefit the rest of your body.
Learning about these beneficial vitamins and minerals will help you maintain healthy and strong teeth.
It is well known that calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth, but do you know why? The body uses calcium to make crystalline calcium phosphate. The tough enamel that coats and protects your teeth is made up of this mineral complex.
Calcium is also essential for bone growth since it gives your jawbone the strength and anatomical stability to keep the dental roots in its socket. The body must continue to produce enamel and bone because they wear down over time with use.
Your enamel may wear down quicker than it can renew itself if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, rendering your teeth vulnerable to cavities and other problems. Inadequate bone calcium can cause loosening of the sockets, which can cause the teeth to fall off.
Consume additional dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, to increase calcium consumption. You may also wish to take calcium supplements if you have a condition that causes a calcium shortage. Vitamin D is also essential to properly utilize calcium.
Calcium and phosphorus combine to generate crystalline calcium phosphate. Calcium’s significance in bone formation and remodeling is also supported. Even with Vitamin D, your body cannot properly utilize calcium without phosphorus. Bone brittleness and easily chipped teeth are among the side effects.
Cheese is an excellent way to consume both calcium and phosphorus. Other foods like pork, lentils, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, and cattle can also help you meet your daily phosphorus requirements.
To maintain bone density and develop durable tooth enamel, magnesium, and calcium team together. Calcium and magnesium should be taken in a 2:1 ratio for the most effective reception.
Legumes, dark green vegetables, almonds, brown rice, rye, corn, buckwheat, and other whole grains contain magnesium. But magnesium should not be taken in large amounts in one sitting as it can lead to stomach issues like diarrhea, so spread it out over the day.
To control blood acidity within the body, potassium works alongside magnesium. When the acid content in the blood is high, it can strip away calcium from your jawbones and teeth, damaging them. Foods rich in potassium can help in utilizing calcium more effectively.
Potassium is found in various foods, including bananas, avocadoes, prunes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and Swiss chard.
Potassium can benefit your teeth in various ways. You may have observed that specific toothpaste contains potassium nitrate as an active ingredient. This potassium molecule can lessen pain signals in those who have tooth sensitivity when it reaches the tooth enamel.
Healthy teeth require healthy gums, and as vitamin C is rich in antioxidants, it aids in gum healing and pain. This is achieved by helping the body produce extra collagen, which promotes cell restoration and accelerates the healing procedure. Kiwis, grapefruits, oranges, and other citrus foods are good sources of vitamin C but are acidic; therefore, you should gargle thoroughly after consumption.
Vitamin A is amongst the best vitamins for overall oral health. This promotes saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth and prevents dry mouth. Vitamin A also aids in the maintenance of healthy oral fluid, which shields the gums and cheeks from viruses and bacteria. Eggs, carrots, fish, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of vitamin A.
Without enough vitamin D, calcium’s beneficial effects are compromised. Vitamin D instructs the intestines to take calcium into the blood via communicating with them. Vitamin D and calcium help strengthen teeth and bones, reducing cracks and fractures. Fish, eggs, and dairy products like fortified milk and cheese are all rich in vitamin D.
Dr. Andrew Owyoung and Dr. Alexander Owyoung at SoftTouch Dentistry, Sacramento, California, provide high-quality dentistry and do their best to improve people’s smiles with hundreds of happy patients to prove it.
If you want to know how to keep your teeth healthy and maintain them, visit us so we can recommend you the best treatment and dietary options.