Are Teeth Bones? You Must Know

Are teeth bones? The first appearance that we have of a tooth can remind us of its similarity to a bone, but can we consider teeth as bones? Are teeth and bones the same? In this blog, we will answer this question in detail.

Are Teeth Bones?

Are teeth bones? And the answer is “bones and teeth are not the same”. These are completely different structures both in their tissue organization, their physiology and in their functionality.

Both teeth and bones are hard structures, whitish in color. They are heavy tissues due to the fact that they are composed of calcium. These characteristics mean that they may look the same, but in reality they are very different fabrics.

Differences between teeth and bones

The elemental composition of teeth and bones is very different and that is the basis of the different functions that a tooth has with respect to a bone. The tooth has to be a hard tissue prepared for chewing. Instead, the bone is hard and elastic, prepared to support muscular support and the weight of the body.

What are teeth?

Teeth are the hardest tissue in the entire body. Its main function is chewing, but it has other functions such as digestion, speech, swallowing or aesthetics.

Dental anatomy

From a descriptive point of view, the tooth is differentiated between a dental crown and a root . The union of these elements constitutes the so-called dental neck.

With a simple look at a mouth we can differentiate different types of teeth, but all of them are made up of a dental crown and a dental root.

Dental crown

The dental crown is the part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth. It is with the part of the tooth that is chewed. The different dental crowns are due to the different functions performed by the teeth.

As an example, the crowns of the incisors are prepared to cut food, while the crowns of molars and premolars are intended to crush food and prepare it for swallowing.


It is the portion of the tooth that is inserted into the alveolar bone and is attached to it thanks to the periodontal ligament . Depending on the function performed by each tooth, it has one type or another of roots.

The molars need strong roots and in most cases double or even triple roots to support the force of chewing. Incisor teeth, prepared to cut food, only need a long and fine root.

What tissues make up the tooth?

The tooth is made up of different layers of hard and soft tissue that provide it with the hardness and elasticity necessary to chew.

The different layers of the tooth are distinct depending on the functionality of the tooth, but all teeth are composed of enamel , dentin , and nerve or dental pulp .


Enamel is the hard outermost layer of the tooth . The high content of mineral salts and its crystalline structure make enamel the hardest tissue in the human body.

Dental enamel is created thanks to the synthesis and secretion of ameloblasts , cells that disappear when the tooth erupts. For this reason, since there are no ameloblasts, enamel cannot biologically repair itself or self-regenerate, as it does with other dental tissues.

How is enamel formed?

Its composition is practically inorganic , between 95 and 98%. The rest of the enamel is water and protein. It is made up, practically, of hydroxyapatite crystals.

Hydroxyapatite crystals are organized to form rods that are the basic unit of dental enamel. They are elongated structures with a length and direction that varies in different parts of the tooth. For example, these hydroxyapatite crystals are longer in the occlusal or masticatory part of the tooth than in the area closest to the gum.

What is hydroxyapatite?

Hydroxyapatite , present in teeth and bones, is a biocrystal made up of calcium, phosphorus and hydrogen, according to the formula Ca 10 (PO 4 ) 6 ( HO) 2

Is there hydroxyapatite in bones too?

Hydroxyapatite is also the main structure of bone, but unlike teeth, it occurs together with a protein called collagen that gives bone the necessary elasticity to fulfill its purpose .

It is this molecule that is responsible for conferring the necessary hardness to both bones and teeth. Even though bones are also made of hydroxyapatite, this does not make teeth and bones the same.

Why does caries destroy tooth enamel?

Dental enamel, being so highly inorganic, is vulnerable to the demineralizing action caused by the acids created by dental plaque microorganisms. This demineralization results in dental caries and the consequent destruction of dental enamel.

Why are the tooth and bone not the same?

Although teeth and bones are very similar, there are big differences between these two tissues. A fundamental difference is the participation of collagen in the composition of the bones, which gives them the necessary elasticity to carry out their function. As we have already mentioned, teeth and bones are not the same.

What is harder a tooth or a bone?

The hardest structure in the human body is dental enamel . The brilliant white dental enamel that covers the dental surface of all teeth is much stronger than any bone in the body.

The hardness of the enamel is due to its high percentage of mineral content, around 95%, the highest of any other tissue in the body. This high mineral content makes enamel a hard and resistant tissue.

Can teeth regenerate just like bones?

The self-regenerative capacity of the bones is not shared by the teeth. When a bone breaks, our body begins an automatic regeneration process. Thanks to the collagen, a bone callus begins to form at the fracture site and new bone begins to be generated, which after a few days consolidates, returning the bone to a healthy state.

On the other hand, when it is fractured, the tooth does not have the ability to regenerate again, so we have to take care of them so that they do not suffer damage or injury. This is another of the differences that makes teeth and bones are not the same.

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