Little Known Teeth Facts

From the teeth that grow in throats to ones that have been implanted into eyes – you might think you know all there is to know about teeth, but here are some crazy facts that might surprise you:

Tough Teeth

Enamel is the toughest substance in the human body. It is even harder than a bullet made from copper and only slightly less hard than the stainless steel fork you eat with.

Clever Cracks

The enamel on your teeth also has the ability to create minute cracks which act to diffuse the stress of eating and prevent breaks in your teeth. This clever ability is being studied by aerospace engineers who want to make tougher spacecraft.

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Fluoride is added to toothpaste because it counters tooth decay by stopping the loss of minerals from enamel and helping to reabsorb calcium and phosphate from the saliva back into the enamel. Fluoride was first added to a community’s water system in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Childbirth and Teeth

Aside from being an old wives’ tale, there is now scientific proof to the idea that the more children a woman has, the more teeth she is likely to have missing.  One possible reason is that pregnant women are more prone to developing gingivitis, as hormonal changes leave tissue more prone to irritation. Keep your teeth and gums in top condition with regular dental check-ups with Cosmetic dentist Cardiff,

Teeth Transplant?

During the 1700s, a popular procedure for well-to-do women was to have a tooth transplant. As you would expect, these operations usually failed and even worse, the transplanted teeth often carried syphilis.

Teeth in the Womb

Our teeth begin to develop at about six weeks after conception but for a long time after we are born, they retain many of the substances that we were exposed to as a foetus. Our teeth, therefore, offer a good insight into nutritional and environmental exposure during pregnancy.

Unexpected Places

The cells responsible for growing teeth can appear in some pretty unusual places. Tumours have been known to have teeth growing inside them, known as teratomas. These horrible tumours can also contain bone and hair!

The First Teeth

The first teeth to have formed were likely to have been in the throats of jawless fish over 500 million years ago. They performed as teeth do now, for crushing food as it passed. Teeth can still be seen in the throats of some fish today, like cichlids.

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A Tooth Treats Blindness

Dental engineering has come a long way from the tooth transplants of the 18th century. Recently, a Mississippi woman became the first U.S citizen to have osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis for blindness caused by corneal damage. She had an extracted tooth specially sculpted into a frame for a minute lens which was implanted into her eye. Funnily enough, the tooth chosen for the procedure was a canine, or otherwise known as an ‘eyetooth’.