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Why can’t we regrow teeth? © Getty Images

Why can’t we regrow teeth?

Published: 16th September, 2017 at 14:00
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Sharks can grow back lost teeth, so it seems like a evolutionary oversight that humans can't.

Asked by: Peter Richards, Leamington Spa

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Your baby teeth and adult teeth all began developing before you were even born. Our DNA still contains all the genes that sharks use to grow their endless conveyor belt of replacement teeth, but in humans these genes are deactivated by the 20th week of foetal development.

The advantages of keeping the same teeth through adulthood is that they can be securely anchored in the jawbone, which allows us to chew tough plants and grains.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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