Sharks do! In fact, each of the estimated 30,000 teeth that sharks lose over a lifetime regrows. How do sharks regrow their teeth, and why can’t humans? It’s all in the genes. Because sharks maintain their existence by eating, their rows and rows of teeth are of the utmost importance to their survival. The epithelial cells from which teeth grow, called dental lamina, are retained for the lifetime of the shark allowing for tooth regrowth. But what about humans? Can humans regrow their teeth?
As we already know, humans do not regrow teeth, but that doesn’t mean that they will never be able to. Humans possess the same genes that sharks use to regenerate their teeth. While our teeth develop from dental lamina, too, once our adult teeth have erupted we do not retain those epithelial cells as do sharks. It is believed that over time sharks have evolved to retain the dental lamina for the sole purpose of regenerating their teeth because teeth are so important to their survival.
What About Us?
So, what about us? Teeth are important to our survival too. Because we also possess dental lamina, at least until our adult teeth form, scientists believe we may be able to regenerate these epithelial cells via dental therapies allowing us the possibility of regrowing our own lost teeth in the future.
Until then, however, the best way to avoid losing teeth is to keep them free from harmful oral bacteria that cause decay and can lead to gingivitis, and eventually gum disease (periodontitis). Periodontitis is the major reason for adult tooth loss. Proper dental hygiene includes brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day, flossing daily, and attending your biannual dental appointments for regular checkups and professional cleanings.
ABOUT YOUR AUSTIN, MN, DENTIST:
Our team offers our patients and their family access to comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.