Why are teeth alive if they’re just bone and can’t regenerate? Why do they need blood flow and are able die?


Why are teeth alive if they’re just bone and can’t regenerate? Why do they need blood flow and are able die?

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If you look at bones, they are filled with marrow. Check out a cross-section photo. This is filled with stemcells and allows the bones to grow bloodcells. Bones are alive. All bones would rot if they were left in open air and exposed to rotting foods and sugars for years. Most are encased in live meat to protect them. For instance, the rotting tooth does not start under the gum. It spreads there.

It is a fact that most of the parts which make up teeth are actually living cells. Similar to hair and fingernails there is a part on a tooth that is not alive – that part is called the “enamel”. It is made of calcium phosphate, which is a very hard mineral that is perfect for breaking down food when you eat. Google…….

Teeth are not bones. This is a common misconception, but there are quite a few differing characteristics.

the outermost part of a tooth is no longer alive in a sense. the enamel is hard casing of mostly minerals and some proteins to hold it together, as the cells that build it grew out and then died off and your saliva largely maintains its upkeep. however the enamel is supported from inside by the dentin and tooth pulp, which is very much living tissue with cells and a blood supply. if these parts of the tooth are too badly compromised or die, the tooth tends to break down quickly and fall out.

bone is similar, but not the same. there are many living cells scattered within and around the harder bone tissue that maintain it, and bones are usually porous to some degree to allow nutrients and bloodflow through.

Our bodies are made of living cells and the non-living stuff they make. Matrix is a good word for that non-living stuff.

Different tissues have differences in:
1) the ratio of cells to matrix.
2) what the matrix is made of.
3) the rate at which that matrix is turned over.

1) A tissue like liver or muscle has a very high ratio of cells to matrix. A tissue like a bone or tooth has a relatively low ratio of cells to matrix.
2) Sometimes the matrix is made up of used-to-be living cells. The surface of your skin, your red blood cells, and your platelets are whole or pieces of what used to be living cells. Sometimes it’s mostly protein like the collagen below your skin surface. Sometimes is minerals like in bones or teeth.
3) Some things have to be replaced/repaired very quickly. That includes a lot of the stuff that used to be cells (skin surface, red blood cells, platelets). Other kinds of matrix (especially the mineral ones like teeth and bones) get replaced/repaired much more slowly. But even that slow repair/replacement is performed by living cells within or next to the matrix.