Dentists are indispensable professionals. Their skill sets are one of a kind, tailor-fit to solve problems which are unique in their own way as well. Several unforeseen (and rather strange) circumstances, however, may render these helpful people useless. One such circumstance is the existence of self-regenerating teeth in humans.
Garden-View.co.uk shares more details below:
Non-Regenerating Teeth: A Curious Distribution
Once you lose a tooth, it can never grow back. Have you ever wondered why? Our bodies indeed self-regenerate, but only to a certain extent (it’s impossible to regrow lost limbs, after all). By self-regeneration, it means that our bodies have the ability to heal themselves on a mainly cellular level. This explains why fractured bones fuse again after adequate treatment, and open skin wounds close back in on themselves.
Self-repairing teeth is not an impossibility in the animal world, though. Sharks are the perfect example. When they lose a tooth, another one will take its place. According to experts from the University of Oslo, humans lack such a function because we don’t need it. Sharks have to entirely use their mouth to kill prey, since they lack grasping limbs. We do, and we make use of them more than our mouths. The sheer amount of force required to snag prey in their mouths can easily cause sharks to lose a few teeth, making regeneration incredibly invaluable.
So, What Do We Lack?
Humans aren’t lacking in regenerative properties per se. Scientists contend that we can regrow teeth like the way we regrow hair, it’s just that the function to regenerate what is lost isn’t turned on. Experts are currently working on deciphering the molecular pathways involved in possibly regenerating teeth. For now, scientists say that research is still in its infancy as they’re only beginning to understand how the process works in primitive animals.
Until then, we’ll still have dentists around to furnish us implants when we lose our teeth. Having a tooth knocked out, after all, can be disadvantageous in the long run — it can negatively alter appearance and make eating a bit more difficult. Since the understanding of teeth regeneration is still premature, it’s a question of “when”, and not “if” whether humans will finally have the ability to regrow teeth.