APR 02, 2019 9:26 AM PDT

Many Animals Can Regrow Teeth, So Why Not Humans?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Many of the world’s animals can regrow lost teeth. The clear majority of those animals are fish or reptiles, but even a small subset of mammals can regrow lost teeth. Given the circumstances, have you ever wondered why humans couldn’t do the same? If so, then you aren’t alone.

Specific animals can regrow lost teeth because their jaws are teeming with stem cells. When a tooth gets lost, the animal’s stem cells get to work in producing another one. Humans have these stem cells too – at least for a little while.

Remember those baby teeth that you used to have when you were little? When they all fell out, and your adult teeth grew in, you were able to thank your jaws’ stem cells for the new pearly whites. Sadly, those stem cells wilted away after your adult teeth grew in, which means you can’t produce new teeth ever again if your current set is ever lost.

Experts believe that this has to do with evolution and the fact that most mammals have specialized teeth that must align properly in the mouth to be useful for eating. Fish and reptiles, on the other hand, have simple-shaped teeth that are easy to replace without concern of alignment issues, and so it wouldn’t hinder their eating habits.

While you might not be able to regrow your teeth at this moment in time, advances in medicinal technology could eventually change that. Scientists are developing ways to stimulate tooth growth in humans as we speak, so it just might be possible to grow new teeth in the future rather than restoring to dentures or implants.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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