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ZeroZero

A question for dentists - paleontological

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If a modern human baby was given a diet of hard foods, such as canes, twigs, hard fruit and root vegetables, would the thickness of their enamel increase?

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Have you ever had a baby?

 

Then you would know that human first teeth don't arrive until a few (maybe 6) months after the baby is born.

 

Further your own teeth experience must have shown you that humans have first and second teeth.

 

So what does it matter what happens to first teeth enamel?

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Being male, it's not in my repertiore. I should have said child... apols

My question is does teeth enamel harden and/or thicken with use

Edited by ZeroZero

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1 hour ago, ZeroZero said:

My question is does teeth enamel harden and/or thicken with use

No, it is slowly worn away. (Or, with a more modern diet, decay.) I think this is one of the characteristics of teeth of early humans; they are often found with the enamel worn right through. Which must have made eating quite painful. 

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Thanks Strange. +1

I think that is the opposite for rodents whose teeth are constantly growing.

 

Edited by studiot

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1 minute ago, studiot said:

I think that is the opposite for rodents whose teeth are constantly growing.

I believe so. 

BTW I think one reason for extreme wear in early human teeth was grit from stones used to mill grains

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 I have come across claims that early hominids and apes have thicker enamel to help them eat hard vegetative materials. If the body hardened enamel when it changed diet, this argument might be invalid

Edited by ZeroZero

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23 hours ago, studiot said:

I think that is the opposite for rodents whose teeth are constantly growing.

Just the four front incisors keep growing. 

It's a fair bet that our very early ancestors spent a lot of time in trees, ate a lot of fruit, and had thin enamel to suit. When we became bipedal, it's likely that we increased the consumption of roots, using digging sticks, and so needed thicker enamel. I haven't seen the reports of worn enamel, but eating roots will naturally include grit, so it's not a huge surprise.   

There was one branch of the family, Paranthropus robustus,    that were closely related to our own branch, being bipedal apes, but which had specialised in heavy chewing, so were probably more dependent on roots and fibrous food than our own line. They had much more robust jaws and teeth, and a big crest of bone on top of their heads, for the solid anchoring of very powerful chewing muscles. It's possible they ate some grasses and sedges, which need a lot of grinding up. They became extinct a million years ago, but were a successful line for about a million years. 

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Some humans grow a third set of teeth, according to a dentist who noticed same in my adult son. He commented that he had seen that a few times and speculated that it was an evolving trait due to our lengthening life spans.

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