At King Street Dental, we believe in empowering our clients with the information they need to take their oral health into their hands. One of the best ways is to take a closer look at how your teeth actually work, so you can care for them properly. For those who suffer from advanced dental damage and tooth decay, dental implants are a perfect way to replace missing teeth. So, what are your teeth made up of? How do they work? Read on to find out more.
General Tooth Anatomy
Let’s start with the basics. The average adult mouth has 32 teeth, excluding the wisdom teeth. These include eight incisors, which are the four in the middle of the upper and lower part of the jaw. There are eight premolar teeth between the morals and the canines, and eight round, flat teeth called morals in the back of the mouth. Molars are primarily used for grinding food, while incisors and canines are used for cutting, biting and tearing food.
Wisdom teeth appear later, around the age of 18, and are often removed to avoid teeth displacement over time.
Understanding the Crown of your Tooth
The word “crown” is used to describe the visible part of your tooth, above the gum line. The enamel, dentin and pulp make up the layers of the crown. Around the tooth are gums, and a bone extends below this to form the root of your teeth.
What is Tooth Enamel?
The tough outer shell of the tooth is known as the enamel. It protects the inside of the tooth from damage and consists of a hard mineral called calcium phosphate. Although this mineral is extremely hard, it can become damaged over time and is difficult to repair. Enamel is vulnerable to the substances in our food, so what you eat and drink plays a role in preserving tooth enamel.
What is Dentin?
Just under the enamel is something called dentin. This part is made up of tiny microscopic tubules and minerals which are many times softer than the outer shell. If the enamel wears away, exposing the dentin, you may experience tooth sensitivity when consuming hot or cold substances.
The centre of the tooth is called the pulp and contains a mass of blood vessels and nerve tissue. Pulp is the only part of the tooth which is soft tissue and is extremely sensitive and delicate.
What is the Cementum?
The layer of tissue that connects the tooth’s roots to the jawbone and gums is called the cementum. If your tooth becomes dislodged or loose, it means the cementum is damaged.
Understanding the Root
Below the gum line is the area known as the root. Although it is invisible to the eye, it makes up 60% of the mass of your tooth. It grounds the tooth in place and is protected by the cementum.
Dental Implants and Teeth Whitening Services
The various components of your teeth, as well as the natural design of the human jaw all work together to give you the ability to consume food. These components are always at risk from conditions such as plaque, cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis and more. By understanding how our teeth are vulnerable, we can do more to protect them, saving not only on stressful visits to the dentists, but also money over time. Contact King Street Dental for cutting edge news and information on dental care, or book an appointment with us today!