Are Teeth Rocks?


What are your teeth? Are they rocks, thick fingernails, or thick hair? Are teeth made of bone? Are they the same material as would be in a tusk or horn? Used to break down food, teeth are a very strong, durable structure biologically created for our use. Caring for them is important to us for many reasons, including diet, overall health and socially engaging.

Teeth are made up of mostly calcium, along with other minerals that assist in the growth and mineralization of them. Your teeth consists of four main layers, a hard outer layer known as enamel. This is the layer that withstands a majority of the work and is the hardest layer. It is made up of mostly calcium, called hydroxyapatite. Compared to other materials, teeth are:

• Rocks - No, teeth are not made up of rocks, though the idea may come from the minerals that are found in enamel.
• Bone - Unlike your bone material, enamel does not contain collagen.
• Hair and Fingernails - Like hair and fingernails, tooth enamel contains keratin, but in significantly less levels, teeth are not considered the same makeup as hair or fingernails.
• Tusk - Teeth do contain the same materials as tusk, and tusk is technically considered teeth, though tusks have a unique ability to continue to grow in length.
• Horn - Like hair, horn is made up of mostly keratin. Horns are not the same material as teeth.


Below the layer of enamel, is a layer called dentin. Dentin is a hard layer, that is softer than enamel. This layer does contain collagen and is a protective layer for the pulp and crown below. The other two layers consist of cementum and the pulp. Together, these layers make up a very durable tooth.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your teeth.


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