Teeth are endlessly fascinating. You would expect to hear such words from a dentist, but even the lay person would find some facts about teeth unbelievable.
If you thought you had the whole story on teeth, guess again. Take a gander at our top 5 things about teeth that are quite astonishing. You may know one or two, but facts seem out of this world.
- There are some babies born with teeth. Roughly 1 in every 2,000 babies is born with so called natal teeth. They’re often removed because they have weak roots and can pose problems with breastfeeding. While they can be a sign of a medical condition, most of the time they’re benign. In fact they could even be a sign of greatness. Richard III, Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis XIV and Julius Caesar all were born with natal teeth!
- Tumors can grow teeth. We started off with a relatively easy fact to swallow. But this one certainly exceeds the first in weirdness. They’re called teratomas. They’re a peculiar kind of tumor with tissue or organ features that are similar to normal derivatives of human germ layers. Humans have three germ layers that are formed when they’re embryos: ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm. These then go on to form different structures and organs in the body. For instance, mesoderm can form bone, cartilage, red blood cells while ectoderm forms skin, hair, and nails. Teratomas replicate this ability. The tumors often contain hair, bone, and teeth. Rarely, they can grow more complex organs like eyes, hands, and legs!
- Teeth can restore your sight. This is an amazing procedure called osteo-odonto keratoprosthesis. It cannot fix all blindness. It works only for cornea or surface damage and scarring. If the retina’s damaged, this can’t help. In the procedure, one of the canines or premolars is removed along with some surrounding tissue. This dental tissue is then implanted in the eye, replacing the damaged cornea. In the case of Sharon Thornton, she regained 20/70 vision in a day after being blind for 9 years.
- Our future offspring won’t have to worry about wisdom teeth. In fact many people even today are born without wisdom teeth. We are steadily evolving away from these vestigial structures, as we are with the appendix. Wisdom teeth came in handy in our ancestors whose larger jaws and diets consisted of a lot of roots, nuts, and plant tissue that had to be ground up.
- Candy is better for your teeth than raisins. Before you go out yelling this through the streets, when we say candy we mean chocolate, caramel, and others that dissolve quickly. The sticky ones are still bad. But candy that dissolves quickly is safer than non-sugary foods like bread and chips, which get stuck in teeth. These carry a lot of fermentable carbs that cavity-causing bacteria love.
Dr. Potts is a gentle, caring dentist who uses the most advanced materials and procedures available. He practices comfortable, health-centered dentistry, with a strong emphasis on getting to know each patient. In addition to his technical proficiency, Dr. Potts is a careful listener. He makes sure to understand what you want and will explain beforehand what treatment is best for your individual needs, along with all options available to you. Check out our Twitter, Facebook page, and website.