What is the hardest substance in the human body?

Tooth enamel – the top layer of the tooth – is the hardest substance in the human body. This thin layer is formed by special cells, the adamantoblasts, and covers the crown of the tooth. The enamel consists of fibrous prisms of the rare mineral hydroxyapatite. As the tooth matures, the enamel loses water and organic components, and minerals such as calcium are stored instead. Fluoride  further hardens enamel and increases its resistance to acids.

Danger to tooth enamel

  • Acids secreted by bacteria that are found in  plaque  or in fine cracks in the tooth. They attack the tooth and dissolve calcium and phosphates from the mineral structure of the tooth enamel. The enamel becomes porous as a result, the acids can penetrate further and the tooth is also damaged in deeper layers. Caries occurs, an irreversible destruction of the tooth substance.
  • Frequent contact with acids e.g. B. in soft drinks. Many soft drinks contain citric acid, which also attacks tooth enamel. As a result, erosion occurs, caries-like destruction of the tooth, which cannot be completely compensated for by the saliva and the components it contains.
  • Excessive  tooth brushing
  • Tooth enamel can crack when biting on solid objects.
  • Since the enamel can no longer be formed again, a loss remains for life.


In addition to a change in diet, damage caused by erosion or caries can be combated, particularly in the development stage, by using, for example, toothpaste containing fluoride. Proper toothbrushing technique is also important. If the teeth are also scrubbed with great force after the acid rush, this increases the abrasion of the upper layers of the teeth, which have become porous from the acids. Instead, it is advisable to rinse the mouth out with water or  milk , for example  , in order to dilute the acid and accelerate the replacement of the dissolved minerals.

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