Facts about Shark Teeth from Your Knoxville Dentist

The closing ceremony for the Olympics coincided with another big TV event last week, the beginning of Shark Week. Revered as some of the greatest predators in the world, sharks would be much less threatening without their teeth. In honor of Shark Week, our Knoxville dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach, will discuss some interesting facts about shark teeth a…

The closing ceremony for the Olympics coincided with another big TV event last week, the beginning of Shark Week. Revered as some of the greatest predators in the world, sharks would be much less threatening without their teeth. In honor of Shark Week, our Knoxville dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach, will discuss some interesting facts about shark teeth and what we can learn from them about dental health.

Shark Skin is Made of Tiny Teeth

Did you know that sharks have teeth all over their bodies? Shark skin is made of dermal denticles, or placoid scales. These tiny tooth-like structures have the same basic anatomy as any tooth with enamel, dentin, and a pulp center. The teeth allow the shark to not only swim faster and smoother, but also to injure their pray just by touching them. The hard outer layer of enamel makes the shark’s skin a weapon.

Why Our Teeth Need Fluoride

Our teeth have the same basic structure as shark teeth. The outer layer of enamel protects the soft dentin and sensitive pulp center. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance produced by our body. Enamel shields your tooth against cavity-causing bacteria and temperature sensitivity. Once enamel is lost to teeth grinding or acid erosion from eating sugary substances, our bodies cannot replace the hard outer layer. Fluoride treatments from our Knoxville dentist help remineralize the tooth, strengthening enamel and improving your smile’s defenses against tooth decay.

Sharks and Fluoride

Toothpastes, mouthwash, and even public water supplies use fluoride supplements to reinforce tooth protection. Sharks have no need for fluoridated water as their teeth already contain this mineral. Their tooth enamel is made of fluoroapatite instead of hydroxyapatite, like our enamel. With fluoridated teeth, sharks never have to worry about cavities.  

Preventive Dentistry in Knoxville

For more information about fluoride treatments and cavity prevention, contact our Knoxville dental office at 865-240-2035. Dr. Erpenbach as well as our team of dental professionals look forward to helping you restore your optimal oral health with conservative preventive dentistry.

 

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