Not too long ago we examined the topic of when teeth begin to form in utero. Several questions arose from that topic including these two: What are teeth actually made of and is it true that teeth continue to grow after we pass away? Apparently, we are talking about the full “circle of life” in these blogs! So, while we find one question interesting and the other perhaps just a tad morbid, we are willing to address both – for curiosity sake.
As we covered in the developing tooth blog, teeth do begin to form in utero. But what are they made of and why are teeth SO strong. The answer to the second question has to do with genetics. Obviously, teeth play a critical role in our ability to obtain adequate nutrition intake, more so in those very early (BC) days. Having strong teeth that could rip, grind and tear meat were pretty darn important to caveman survival. The reality is, they still serve the same purpose today, we’re just a tad more civilized about how we go about obtaining and consuming our meat! As for what teeth are made of, here is a brief “non-Dental school” explanation. As we all have heard over the years, teeth consist of enamel. Enamel is actually the hard, white, outer shell of the tooth. Enamel is in fact, the hardest substance in the human body! Beneath that hard surface lies a second layer referred to as dentine, a little softer dentine helps form the “body” of the tooth. Inside the dentine is the very “heart” of the tooth – the pulp cavity and it really is the “living heart of the tooth.” Then, of course, there are the roots. Brinkley Dental cautions that this is a very high-level overview of the tooth. In reality, there is so much more we could discuss but then again, you probably didn’t want to actually “attend” Dental school today so we have just given this brief little overview!
As for the second question, like we said – it’s a little morbid but we’re willing to make an attempt at answering it for the curious in our crowd. The short answer is NO. Not only is this is a myth but so too is the commonly held misconception that hair and nails also continue to grow. All are complete myths but frankly, the explanation as to why they are is a bit too gruesome and we’re not going there today, or ever!
The bottom line when it comes to teeth, our recommendations always remain the same and that is, care for that hard outer layer and in turn, you will help all the inner workings of your teeth to stay healthy too. Brush regularly, use dental floss and visit a Dentist regularly. We love visitors so stop by the Brinkley Dental Office anytime. We will end as we usually do – The Brinkley Dental family is available to address all your dental questions and concerns and reminds you as always, ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”