Shark Teeth as Hard as Human Teeth

Shark teeth and human teeth are quite similar, according to a new study.

A team of German scientists came to this conclusion after a comprehensive study on the subject. The results weren’t expected based on the fact that shark teeth contain 100 percent fluoride.

Like humans, sharks have enamel on their teeth that serve to make the teeth as hard as they are.

The research team utilized an x-ray diffraction technique and scanned electron microscopy. They looked at every aspect of the fluoroapatite crystals to figure out how hard the teeth of the shortfin mako shark and tiger shark were.

The chemical and crystallographic composition of the teeth in the different sharks is similar. The slight difference is that the mako sharks tear the flesh of their prey while the tiger sharks use more of a cutting mechanism. The inner part of the teeth is an elastic dentin, while the outside is made up of enamel.

Human enamel, however, contains hydroxyapatite, something the shark teeth does not. This serves to soften the human teeth.

The researchers will continue their study on shark teeth to find out more information. One of the goals is to find a way to apply their research to finding a method for creating more advanced dental prostheses.