Why is it impossible to naturally heal/regrow teeth?

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Our bones heal naturally when broken, at least to some extent, so why is it not the same with teeth, which are arguably more useful?

Even the tooth regrowing drug developed recently will be first tested on humans with congenitally missing tooth, not those who lost their teeth later in life, at least from what I understand, which means there’s no *re*growing anything.

Will it ever be possible to fully regrow a tooth and have it be just like the one you lost?

In: Biology

6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are working on it now, testing the process this year. https://www.reddit.com/r/tech/s/vaXWzLkvXD

EDIT – I did answer the last line in the post. It IS possible to grow a new tooth.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I don’t know about teeth > bones

The inability to walk again or use of an arm is definitely more significant than the function of teeth

Most teeth issues are a very recent ( in the scale of human existence) issue in humans.  We’ve extended life by several decades; we’ve heavily modified our diet.

Maybe if we did nothing we’d develop teeth that heal eventually……or maybe not due to the alternatives of dentistry

Anonymous 0 Comments

Easieriis to explain why bones can heal. They naturally have cells in them that constantly move through the bone breaking it down and replacing it. Teeth do not have such cells so can’t regrow or repair.

As an aside the death of those cells with age is one reason why elderly people break bones easier and take longer to recover

Anonymous 0 Comments

Not an expert, but from what I understand your teeth start out with special cells osteoblasts (cells that create bone tissue) and osteoclasts (cells that break down bone tissue)

Before your teeth erupt from your gums, those cells are doing their thing in the jaw bone, forming the teeth from a template

Once they are finished, they die off due to genetic coding, leaving just the bone material and the inner nerves (pulp) inside

Without those specialized cells there is nothing to remove/recycle the dead and damaged tissue (osteoclasts) and nothing to reform it using that material (osteoblasts)

Those two types of cells are present in your bones too, that is what allows them to heal while being ossified (stone-like)

Anonymous 0 Comments

You seem to have missed the news where a japanese team very recently succeeded in making teeth grow (in rodents, I think). If I remember correctly, it was by disabling an inhibiting gene.

They hope for a clinical application on humans in the next 5-6 years (and have already started recruiting for clinical trials on humans, I think)

Anonymous 0 Comments

regrowing teeth is not required to survive and pass along your genes to the next generation. You can lose a couple and get by just fine.

a broken bone would be permanently crippling. So earlier generations that could repair bones survived and passed along their gene to their following generations. So people can repair their bones, maybe not perfectly (my collarbone can tell you that), but it repairs enough that you can survive.

pass the the question through the question question of survival. You can loose a couple teeth and still survive to tomorrow (or next week or next year). A broke bone would be permanently disabling.