How much do you know about your tooth’s anatomy? Here is a quick primer.
In addition to having very specific functions each tooth has a specific location and contains specific shapes that aid in its function. All teeth, though different in shape, have the same anatomical parts.
Each tooth is made up of the same four components: enamel, dentin, cementum and pulp.
Enamel is the translucent substance and the hardest substance found in the body that covers the anatomic crown of the tooth,created by cells known as ameloblasts. The enamel is the first line of protection for the tooth and can withstand biting pressure but does not have the ability to regrow once fully formed.
If there has been minor demineralization (porous) occurring, it can remineralize (harden) and thus stop the tooth decay process if followed proper nutrition and oral care.
The dentin is the substance that lies beneath the enamel and the cementum in the tooth,created by odontoblasts cells.It makes up the major portion of the tooth and is not as hard as enamel. There are three types of dentin.
Primary dentin is what is present when the tooth erupts.
Secondary dentin continues to form during the entire life of the tooth.
Reparative dentin can form in response to inflammation/irritation or trauma.tooth. Because dentin is softer than enamel, if decay passes through the enamel (demineralization) and invades the dentin, it can spread very rapidly here.
Cementum is the substance that covers the root of the tooth,where the enamel and dentin meet. It is also very thin and not as hard as the enamel but has a similar hardness to bone. Cells known as cementoblasts form cementum.The cementum can be abraded by such things as the bristles of a stiff toothbrush. Also, if the cementum becomes exposed to the oral cavity through gingival recession, this surface can become very sensitive to temperature changes in the mouth (hot and cold).
The pulp is the final component, and it is where all the nerves and blood vessels that supply the tooth are housed. The pulp is divided into two areas: the pulp chamber, located in the crown of the tooth; and the pulp canals, which are located in the root(s) of the tooth. If the pulp area becomes exposed to decay, a bacterial infection can occur and may require root canal therapy in order to save the tooth.
The crown is the visible part of your tooth that you see inside your mouth. Your tooth root reaches below the gum line and into your jaw.
A well qualified dentist can help save your teeth when tooth decay, disease, or injury affects them, but proper care at home including cleaning and brushing is equally relevant. To maintain your oral health,brushing twice each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss daily is required. If you notice signs of a problem such as bleeding gums or visible discoloration of a tooth, see your dentist immediately.