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20 votes
Accepted

How can tooth enamel feel pain when drilled by a dentist?

Yes you are right. It is the dentin. Enamel has got no nerves. So when the dentist use his/her instrument, initially there is no pain (if the enamel is intact). The next layer is dentin. As you said, ...
  • 846
11 votes

What is the evolutionary reason behind the fragility of teeth?

The evolutionary biologist in me would argue that, on average, teeth are exactly as strong as they need to be. In other words, the fitness cost of producing and maintaining teeth is balanced with the ...
  • 1,194
10 votes
Accepted

Is plaque formed even if you do not eat anything?

But I always assumed that plaque is formed by food remains in the mouth It's not surprising that you'd have this assumption. The clinical term, dental plaque, refers to soft deposits on the teeth. ...
  • 8,721
9 votes

Why do we have nerves in our teeth?

Because your teeth evolved as a sensory organ. The material teeth are made of evolved first in placoderms, it existed to sense the electrical current in the water around it, so it has to form around a ...
  • 13.4k
8 votes
Accepted

Is there any scientific evidence that a human has ever grown a third set of teeth?

There are legitimate case reports in credited journals of hyperdontia, or the condition of having supernumerary teeth. Such cases are often associated with congenital syndromes-- cleft lip and palate, ...
  • 1,634
7 votes

What are the upper and lower sets of teeth are called?

Upper teeth: maxillary teeth Lower teeth: mandibular teeth The term, "maxillary", is given to teeth in the upper jaw and "mandibular" to those in the lower jaw. If you search these terms you ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Why do bacteria eat enamel?

While I can't find any specific sources regarding bacteria eating enamel, I highly doubt this is what's happening in our mouths. I doubt this because your point is likely true - minerals in enamel ...
5 votes

How does fluoride prevent tooth decay?

Your understanding is correct to some extent. Tooth enamel mostly consists of a mineral called hydroxyapatite ($\ce{Ca_{10}(PO4)6(OH)2}$) (Staines et al, 1981). Though this makes enamel the strongest ...
5 votes
Accepted

Why can't we grow more teeth?

Unfortunately, the answer to your question isn't as well researched as other areas, I believe...let's add some complexity into this. You're correct, teeth does "grow" in the gums. And it does start ...
  • 74
5 votes

Can distilled / deionized / demineralized water "attack" teeth?

Here is a list of mineral dissolution rates in pure water. they ALL dissolve, even quartz. The figure for quartz is 4 × 10−14 mol/m2s at 25'C: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1068/pdf/OFR_2004_1068.pdf ...
4 votes
Accepted

Why we have just 2 teeth cycles, primary and secondary not more?

Humans are diphyodont animals, which means we are having two sets of teeth cycles, on contrast, the polyphyodont animals which are having multiple tooth cycles. The first deciduous teeth(milk teeth,...
  • 1,874
3 votes

How was it discovered that flouride helps stop tooth decay?

There is an interesting historical story of fluoride use in prevention of dental caries. Interestingly the journey started with a "mysterious disorder-fluorosis." In 1909 Dr. McKay (r) ...
  • 846
3 votes
Accepted

To which ungulate species does this tooth remainder belong?

Its definitely not a marine mammal, just based on size and general configuration. those convoluted ever growing teeth are pretty diagnostic of non-cetacean ungulates. Just based on the pattern I would ...
  • 13.4k
2 votes

Does xylitol kill all kinds of bacteria?

Xylitol does not kill any bacteria. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that bacteria happen to not be able to use as an energy source. In the absence of other sugars, bacterial growth slows. Therefore, its ...
  • 2,462
2 votes
Accepted

After doing brush I feel hungry?

I think your daily pattern has made your brain associate brushing your teeth as a precursor of your breakfast. Skipping this step will confuse your brain into thinking it's not time for breakfast yet. ...
  • 56
2 votes

Why do teeth ache after fillings?

See, since it was a simple drilling followed by restoration or filling, that means the infection was superficial, not involving the pulp where the nerves and blood vessels are situated. Ok, so now to ...
  • 846
2 votes

What is the evolutionary reason behind the fragility of teeth?

Because teeth first evolved to be disposable not permanent... then mammals lost the ability to replace them. There are two questions here, one about regrowth of teeth the other about tooth composition....
  • 13.4k
2 votes

Why do bacteria eat enamel?

Bacteria feed upon food particle left between n around the teeth and feed upon them. They also produce metabolic acid which corrodes tooth enamel.
2 votes

Why do humans have irregular teeth and impacting wisdom teeth?

Teeth first: The vast majority of people have no problems with their wisdom teeth, whether they emerge or not. Impacted wisdom teeth are very common and are usually painless. They do, however, ...
2 votes

If animals aren't getting tooth decay because they don't eat processed foods, could similar work for humans?

I think your assumption is wrong : Our small mixed breed had to have all her teeth pulled in 2 operations a year apart. The caries were so bad it damaged her kidneys. i have had other dogs with ...
2 votes

How quicky does dental pH change after eating?

Dental damage is mainly caused by the demineralization of the tooth enamel. Demineralization can happen due to a low pH caused either by acidic food/drinks like fruits or carbonated beverages or by ...
  • 1,052
2 votes

How many teeth can "African wild dogs" have?

I found conflicting information on different websites with a humanima article stating that they have 4 toes and 40 teeth (reference). However, multiple sources state that they have 42 teeth (reference ...
2 votes

Are humans the only species to suffer from impacted teeth?

According to Wikipedia An impacted tooth is one that fails to erupt into the dental arch within the expected developmental window. Because impacted teeth do not erupt, they are retained throughout the ...
  • 846
2 votes

Does eating hard food really cause wisdom teeth to erupt properly?

Yes The relative size and robustness of the jaw does appear to be strongly affected by diet, significantly more so than other parts of the skull. This is not that surprising many developmental ...
  • 13.4k
1 vote

What are the teeth of the viperfish composed of?

They are not unique The are made of enamel and dentine just like ours, Even the enamel in human teeth is translucent. Note viper fish are tiny so their teeth are likewise very small, so they can look ...
  • 13.4k
1 vote

Have Polyphyodonts ever evolved from Diphyodonts?

Not true polydonty, True polydonty is an animals that grows endless numbers of teeth like reptiles and fish do. Elephants, kangaroos, and manatees are sometimes called polydont but they are doing ...
  • 13.4k
1 vote
Accepted

What is it called when an animal only has one type/variation of dentition?

Homodont You can find the term "homodont" used in Lambert et al. (2014) or on wikipedia > dentition for examples. The opposite of homodont is heterodont (wikipedia > heterodont). In mammals, a ...
  • 67.7k
1 vote

Why do bacteria eat enamel?

The bacteria actually aren't eating the enamel, they eat the food attached to the enamel and excrete acids that wear down the enamel. Over the decades there have been various experimental treatments ...
1 vote

I found this strange tooth in Galveston, Texas. What does it belong to?

This is a cow tooth. Your image matches above image. https://www.flickr.com/photos/61377404@N08/12300347505

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