Question About Teeth

I seem to remember reading that most (all?) cells in ones body are replaced with new ones on a more-or-regular basis.

My question is: is this true of teeth? Do teeth “grow”, with new cells replacing old? If true, where do the old cells go?

Basis of question is to determine, if I increase my calcium intake, how long until my teeth respond by growing stronger?


Not all cells are replaced. Neurons and muscle cells, which make up a sizable proportion of total body cells, don’t divide or otherwise reproduce. Not sure about teeth. But for starters most of the mass of teeth is comprised of acellular matrix, which, like other bones, is remodeled slowly. The outer coating, enamel, does not, at least I don’t think. A Doper dentist may be more authoritative on the topic.

As far as calcium, provided your current intake is/has been sufficient, I don’t think taking in more will make your teeth stronger. It’s not really a some is good so more is better scenario. It’s more like your teeth are strong and adequate calcium intake will help keep them strong.

The living cells of teeth are in the pulp. The part you see is a mineralized collegen matrix that was laid down by the living cells. Teeth calcify from the outside in so young teeth have more pulp then older teeth, very old teeth sometimes have no pulp. When a permenent tooth errupts what you see is as big as it gets but it is only a shell but fairly thick. As it grows (calcifies) the shell gets thicker but you can’t see a difference. Calcium is much more important while teeth are forming,in utero to about 14 to 18 depending on wisdom teeth, then when mature.