Animals with Teeth Super Powers!?
Did you know there are several animals that boast teeth regeneration among their natural traits? It might sound like some kind of super power but to be honest it seems like a very practical idea to apply to humans. Imagine if a tooth gets knocked off or falls victim to cavities, it would be so much better to simply wait for the next tooth to regrow. After all, we already had baby teeth, right? Well… things are not so simple.
While some animals are able to regrow their teeth partially or completely, the mechanics behind the process is very complex. Rodents, for example, have incisors that never stop growing. In the case of Chinchillas, they have a higher fiber diet so their molars are continuously growing like their incisors. This is the reason they chew on everything almost obsessively… if they don’t wear their teeth down they could eventually end up piercing their own skulls or keep them from eating and starve! Ok, maybe regenerating teeth are not for us…
Then what about sharks?
Shark shed their teeth during all their lives and some are said to shed about 35,000 teeth during their lifetime! This is why is so easy to find shark teeth at the beach and ocean floor. We might think the rows and rows of shark teeth aren’t nice to look at but we can’t deny they are simply amazing! Their teeth are not as strongly joined with the bone of the jaw like our own teeth because sharks don’t chew. They can only bite, trash and shake around to try to dislodge a piece of their new found meal. If the shark got his tooth (and mouth) stuck to his meal it could spell doom for the shark, so in fact, their teeth sit on cartilage rather than bone. This allows it to dislodge easily! As soon as a tooth is missing, the next one in the row starts to sprout.
Another interesting thing about shark teeth is their coating. They are covered with acid-resistant fluorapatite enamel that makes cavities virtually impossible. That’s certainly something we would love to have! Our enamel is not as resistant but it generally allows healthy teeth to survive much much longer than the rest of our bones.
Researches are still trying to find ways so they can apply some of the attributes from these animals on humans. Perhaps one day we can get a regeneration toothpaste or even a small organic tooth implant. Until then we are pretty much stuck with our usual teeth so we need to give them the best care possible to keep them clean and healthy!
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