Teeth

Topics: Mammal, Human, Animal Pages: 2 (614 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Teeth are one of the most important features of our body. Teeth are comprised of hard, bony structures in the mouths of humans primarily used to chew food. Teeth are the body's hardest, most durable organ—long after bones and flesh have dissolved, archaeologists find well-preserved teeth from humans and other animals that lived thousands of years ago.

Humans use teeth to tear, grind, and chew food in the first step of digestion, enabling enzymes and lubricants released in the mouth to further break down food. Teeth also play a role in human speech—the teeth, lips, and tongue are used to form words by controlling airflow through the mouth. Additionally, teeth provide structural support to muscles in the face and form the human smile. Like humans, most animals use their teeth to chew food, although many animals have evolved teeth that perform other specialized tasks. For example, many carnivorous (meat-eating) animals, such as tigers, have developed long, sharp teeth for clamping down on and killing prey. Beavers have chisel-like front teeth that they use to cut down large trees for building dams.

So that takes us to the next question, Why have our teeth been so important to us as human beings? Thousands of years ago when man was first created, teeth were more important than they are today. Years ago, teeth were not only used for breakdown of food but sometimes for self defense towards other humans. Men and women used their teeth to survive daily life and protect their young. If you didn't have teeth back then, then your chances of survival were slim because teeth were needed to eat to stay alive, fight off enemies, and to talk. If you lost your teeth in battle or hunting, then you were in deep trouble because man was the hunted by all sorts of animals. Teeth in humans did not and still don't grow back like some mammals, such as sharks and beavers.

Teeth years ago were thought of as a need to live. There were no dentures or caps to...
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