Posted on 6/15/2019 by Platte Valley Dental Care
|When people think about a great white shark, they think about a big mouth with a lot of sharp teeth. Sharks are amazing eating machines. They will lose many teeth in their lifetime, but you could never tell by looking at them.
That is because they can regenerate their teeth. It does not matter how many teeth they lose, they will always find a replacement. It makes people wonder is humans could pull off this same feat.
Why People Ask This Question
It seems kind of absurd for people to wonder why a human would do anything like a shark. They look and act like two very distinct species, but they do have something in common. There is a network of genes that allow sharks to regenerate the teeth they lose. That same network of genes is present in humans. If humans have the same genes as sharks do for the regrowth of teeth, then it would seem possible that humans can do it.
In a way, humans are already regenerating their teeth. Baby teeth are lost during childhood and the adult set of teeth grow to replace the lost baby teeth. The problem with humans is that they cannot grow teeth when the adult teeth are lost.
Why it isn't Happening
If we have the genes in our body to regenerate teeth, why doesn't it happen. For some reason over time and through evolution the genes that cause the growth of new teeth are dormant or die after the baby teeth fall out. The only way that the teeth can regenerate is if somehow that network of genes is turned back on. There are two ways for that to occur.
It could happen through evolution, but that process could take millions of years, or scientists could figure out a way to turn the genes on in the lab. If they do, people may find themselves growing new sets of teeth when they lose some.
For more information about this or any other oral health issue, contact our office to schedule an appointment.