When a Deer Loses a Tooth, Does it Grow Back?

From Issue: Discovery 3/1/2014

“Deer” Chance,

Let me ask you a question. If you lose a tooth, does it grow back? Well, if you think about it, that is almost a trick question. The answer is “yes” and “no.” If you lose what we call a “baby tooth,” then a new, permanent tooth grows back in its place. But if you lose one of your permanent teeth, nothing grows back to replace it. That is exactly how God designed deer. They have baby teeth that they lose, and permanent teeth that come in later. If they lose a permanent tooth, nothing replaces it. You might be interested to know that biologists can tell how old a deer is by looking at its teeth. Because deer use their teeth for grinding, they lose about one millimeter of tooth-height per year. The shorter a deer’s teeth are, the older the deer is. Thanks for reading Discovery and thanks for the good question.


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