The Anatomy of Your Teeth

A Rendered tooth against a blue background

Teeth, like fingerprints, are one of the unique parts of the body, and have a vital role in the body, as they function to grind and rip food apart to be properly swallowed and digested. Teeth are one of the fascinating parts of the body because of their vital role and their constantly changing growth over time. To properly care for your teeth, understanding the anatomy of your teeth can help give you a huge perspective on why it’s important to care for your teeth and why dentists enjoy the jobs they do, helping others care for their teeth.

The Different Parts of the Tooth

The various parts of the tooth all have their roles in establishing the tooth’s structure and integrity. Those parts include:

  • Crown – The exposed part of the tooth that most people see. As the most exposed part of the tooth, its shape determines its function. By looking at the crown of the tooth, dentists have been able to classify the tooth based on its specific function and location. Some examples of these types of crowns include incisors and canines, which help to cut food and shred it during chewing, and premolars and molars, which grind food down into a soft, swallow-able form.
  • Gumline – The gums, or the soft tissue lining the mouth, surround the teeth, and give the teeth a seal around them. They bind the teeth to the bond and help resist the friction during the consumption of food.

Teeth, besides their shape, have three layers that help to keep the internal components healthy and help to define the tooth’s structure. Those three structures are:

  • Enamel – The most exposed layer of the tooth, primarily made of calcium phosphate and other minerals. As the hardest tissue in the body, it doesn’t have the ability to be grown back once lost. When bacteria forms along with the enamel of the tooth, plaque can form, containing carboxylic acids that wear down at the enamel over time. When leftover a long period, that plaque can cause the enamel to decay and expose the inner workings of the tooth to harmful bacteria.
  • Dentin – The middle layer that contains the minerals and tubules of the tooth. The tiny tubes within the dentin lead to the inner pulp of the tooth, and if exposed, will decay quicker due to the fact that it is nine times softer than enamel. Dentin can be exposed due to intense brushing, acidic foods, cracks in the tooth, and other injuries.
  • Pulp – As the innermost and softest layer of the tooth, the pulp contains the blood and nerves that keep your teeth alive and active in sensing pain and temperature. If bacteria leads its way into the pulp of the tooth, then the tooth’s pulp can become infected, causing cavities and decay. Root canal therapies can help treat the tooth by removing the pulp, and if the tooth’s too compromised, then tooth extraction will be necessary.

If you wish to learn more about teeth, then contact Dr. Alireza Movassaghi at Torrance Dental Associates, located in Torrance, CA, to schedule an appointment today.

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