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Importance of Teeth   no comments

Posted at 2:29 pm in Teeth

When asked to name the most important organs in the body, few people remember the teeth, but these, nonetheless, perform a very important function. The teeth frequently help to kill the prey, hold it and then break it up for food. This is why wild animals which have lost their teeth are doomed to death. Even man, who learned to make false teeth and is in no way limited as to his choice of food, is not indifferent to the loss of his natural teeth.

Teeth are equally important both to predatory and herbivorous animals. The well-known Indian hunter Jim Corbett describes several instances when the loss of but a single canine tooth made a tiger attack domestic animals and even humans, as he was no longer able to cope with the large hoofed animals on which he usually fed.

Rodents probably give their teeth more work than any other animal. Even the sharpest teeth cast from the hardest metal would be worn down by such work. The only solution is for the teeth to keep growing. In fact, the front teeth of rodents grow continuously and so quickly that if the animal were deprived of hard food and the teeth stopped wearing down, they would grow to an incredible size and incapacitate their owner. The incisors of rats grow three centimetres a month. If they did not wear them down, every tooth would reach 70 to 100 centimetres by old age.

The elephant's expectancy of life depends on the condiĀ­tion of its teeth. In a free state it feeds on vegetable matter some of which may be rather hard and has to be crushed by its powerful molars. An elephant has only two pairs of working teeth: one pair is in the upper jaw, the other in the lower. In addition, each jaw has five pairs of rudimentary teeth. As the teeth wear out, they fall out and new ones grow in their place until the sixth pair, which is the last, has worn out. The elephant's nutrition gradually deteriorates and this results in its death.

Written by rickweak on December 31st, 2009

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