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How many teeth do humans have?

Have you ever wondered how many teeth do humans have? It’s a question that can yield a variety of answers; a quick online search can provide abundant information. For ‘How many teeth do humans have’ can lead to results of either 32 or 28 teeth, but this isn’t always the case. The number of teeth can vary, depending on factors such as age, the presence of adult or baby teeth, dental procedures, and even dental disorders. It’s this variability that makes the topic of human teeth so intriguing. 

In this article, we discuss the facts of the human dental inventory, exploring the types of teeth, functions, and dental disorders that can impact our oral health. We’ll also share valuable tips on how to care for our teeth, highlighting the role of dental care in maintaining our oral health and overall well-being.

What Are the Parts of Human Teeth?

If you are reading this article, you are an adult who wants to discover how many teeth adults have after shedding their baby teeth. Before providing answers on how many teeth do humans have or should have, it would make more sense to understand what teeth are in the first place and why they are essential for a human being. 

While there is a misconception that teeth are bones because they are solid, they are not, although teeth might feel and resemble bones. However, they are not bones; as bones are living origins that can regenerate themselves, the teeth cannot because they don’t have marrow. Your teeth consist of four layers, which are as follows: 

  1. Tooth pulp. This is the central layer of your tooth. It contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
  2.  Enamel: It is the most complex tissue in the human body that is harder than bones; it covers the tooth’s crown and protects the tooth’s pulp and dentin.
  3. Dentin: Located beneath the enamel, it is a softer tissue
  4. Root Cement: This tissue covers the tooth’s root and has a structure similar to bone.

Types of Teeth and their Functions

As you may recognize, the number of teeth will vary for the same human being according to the stages of his life. Baby teeth numbers are not the same as adult teeth numbers, and the same goes for function; the reason behind this change is that every stage in life needs different food and teeth types; milk teeth serve a particular purpose that adult teeth wouldn’t. Below are the four types of teeth that make a typical set of adult teeth:

  1. Incisors: Incisors are the official term for front teeth name located in the center of both the top and bottom jaws. These teeth cut food into smaller pieces, and they are flat with thin edges to support their cutting function. 
  2. Canines: The cuspids, or canine teeth, are the pointed teeth next to the incisors. Their primary function is to tear food, and they are easily recognizable as the longest teeth in the mouth.
  3. Premolars: These are also known as bicuspids. They sit next to the canines and are bigger than the incisors and canines. Like incisors, they grind food. The multi-ridge shape makes crushing and grinding food easy for humans. A typical adult set of teeth contains eight premolars, with four in the top and bottom jaws.
  4. Molars, commonly known as the back teeth, take up most of the space at the back of one’s mouth. Adults typically have four sets of molars, and each set of molars contains three on each side of the top and bottom jaw. The molar teeth include wisdom teeth as well, so whether you have your wisdom teeth extracted or you are born without them, you will have four teeth less than a typical set of adult teeth. This variation in number often leads to confusion and invites the question of how many teeth humans have.

How many teeth does a human have?

As mentioned earlier in the article, the answer to the question “How many teeth do humans have?” is versatile. It should be answered based on whether the question is related to primary teeth (baby teeth or milk teeth) or inquiring about the total number of teeth adults have by the end of their childhood years. 

Humans are diphyodont, which means that humans develop two sets of teeth during their lifespan. The first set is called the primary teeth or milk teeth, and the other set is called the secondary teeth, which refers to the set of adult teeth known as the permanent teeth. 

An average healthy child has 20 teeth by the time they are 2-3 years old. The first to come out is the lower incisors, followed by the upper ones. The other sets of teeth that follow will be the molars and canines. The timing of teeth eruption for each child varies, but the sequence of eruption is generally the same; teeth usually, shedding the primary teeth will start around the age of 6, and this is when the adult begins to erupt.

At approximately 21 years of age, most individuals have a complete set of 32 teeth called permanent teeth, with 16 located in the upper jaw and 16 in the lower jaw. However, the third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, may not fully develop or emerge, resulting in some people having only 28 permanent teeth. Hence, there are different answers when posing the question, “How many teeth do humans have? ” Moreover, some people will have their wisdom teeth extracted due to the crowding they might cause, which affects their bite or aesthetics. 

Dental Conditions Affecting Teeth Count

Aside from dental trauma that may result in tooth loss, certain dental conditions and disorders may require tooth extraction, as well as other conditions that can lead to extra teeth. These conditions affect tooth count and, consequently, impact the answer to the question, “How many teeth do humans have?”

  1. Hypodontia (Missing Teeth):  is a congenital disorder in which babies may be born missing one to six teeth (excluding wisdom teeth). It can be inherited and affects 2-8% of the population. Treatments include bridges, dentures, dental implants, and orthodontics.
  2. Hyperdontia (Extra Teeth): This condition occurs when a person has more teeth than normal, which can result in one or more extra teeth. It becomes more noticeable after the permanent teeth come in. This condition affects less than 4% of the general population.
  3.  Cavity: Teeth cavities are a prevalent dental condition. They can affect different areas of the tooth, leaving holes in them. Dentists usually treat them with fillings or root canal treatments. Still, if the case is very severe, the decision to remove the tooth is inevitable, which eventually results in missing teeth. 
  4.  Impacted Teeth: Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the third molars are trapped in the gums or jawbone, leading to oral health issues. Surgical removal is often recommended as a treatment. This surgical removal will result in having fewer teeth.
  5. Gingivitis: This refers to an infection and inflammation caused by plaque buildup spreading from the gums (gingiva) to the ligaments and bones supporting the teeth. In severe degrees, it can lead to tooth loss.

Your teeth are incredibly valuable and play an essential role in your overall health. We encourage you to prioritize taking care of your teeth to improve not only your oral health but also your general well-being. We at Dentspa would be more than happy to schedule your checkup appointment and be a part of your well-being journey. Schedule Your Visit Today!

Taking Care of Your Teeth

Keeping your dental care on point is essential not only for good oral health but also for your overall well-being. Here are some basic tips that will serve as your guide on how to take care of your teeth.

  1. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day for an adequate amount of time. Good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of dental problems. If you’re a parent, ensure that you also take care of your child’s baby teeth. Keep in mind that decay and cavities can affect anyone, regardless of age.
  2. Use floss and mouthwash to reach areas missed by brushing.
  3. Practice a mindful lifestyle by focusing on diet, reducing sugar and soft drink intake, and avoiding tobacco, as these habits can impact both your overall and oral health.
  4. Address problems as they arise, and don’t postpone them to avoid complications.
  5. Keep your routine dentist check-ups up to date to solve problems as they emerge.

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The material contained on this website is offered as information only and not as professional advice. Users should consult their own dental professionals for such advice.