Details of dental wear revealed

The teeth of mammals experience constant wear. However, the details of these wear processes are largely unknown. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now demonstrated that the various areas of herbivores' teeth differ ...

These pink sea urchins have teeth that sharpen themselves

Sea urchins have five teeth, each held by a separate jaw in a circular arrangement at the center of their spiked, spherical bodies. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Matter on September 18 have discovered how the ...

A way to repair tooth enamel

A team of researchers from Zhejiang University and Xiamen University has found a way to repair human tooth enamel. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their process and how well it ...

Nordic Bronze Age attracted wide variety of migrants to Denmark

Migration patterns in present-day Denmark shifted at the beginning of the Nordic Bronze Age, according to a study published August 21, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Karin Frei of the National Museum of Denmark ...

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Tooth

Teeth (singular tooth) are small whitish structures found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates that are used to tear, scrape, and chew food. Some animals, particularly carnivores, also use teeth for hunting or defense. The roots of teeth are covered by gums. Teeth are not made of bone, but rather of tissues of varying density and hardness.

Teeth are among the most distinctive (and long-lasting) features of mammal species. Paleontologists use teeth to identify fossil species and determine their relationships. The shape of the animal's teeth are related to its diet. For example, plant matter is hard to digest, so herbivores have many molars for chewing. Carnivores, on the other hand, need canines to kill prey and to tear meat.

Mammals are diphyodont, meaning that they develop two sets of teeth. In humans, the first set (the "baby," "milk," "primary" or "deciduous" set) normally starts to appear at about six months of age, although some babies are born with one or more visible teeth, known as neonatal teeth. Normal tooth eruption at about six months is known as teething and can be painful.

Some animals develop only one set of teeth (monophyodont) while others develop many sets (polyphyodont). Sharks, for example, grow a new set of teeth every two weeks to replace worn teeth. Rodent incisors grow and wear away continually through gnawing, maintaining relatively constant length. Many rodents such as voles (but not mice) and guinea pigs, as well as rabbits, have continuously growing molars in addition to incisors.

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