Dental Tips Blog

Jul
12

Understanding Tooth Structure

There is a lot more to your teeth than meets the eye.  A tooth has many layers and the root extends below the surface of your gums and into your jawbone. Taking good care of your teeth means taking care of the entire tooth, not just the pearly white enamel that shows when you smile.

A tooth is divided into three areas.  The crown is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line. The root is the part of the tooth that extends into the jawbone.  Most teeth have a single root, but molars can have as many as three roots.  The neck is where the crown meets the root.

The crown is composed of a thin outer layer of enamel that covers the dentin, a bony material that makes up most of the tooth above and below the gum line.  Enamel is translucent which means that it is not clear, but light can shine through it.

The white color of teeth is mostly due to the color of the dentin and the enamel gives the tooth its “pearly” appearance. In the middle of the tooth is the pulp and pulp cavity.  In this area is found the blood vessels and nerves that feed the tooth and keep it alive.

The root is similar to the crown.  In the middle is the root canal where the blood vessels and nerves run from the jaw bone to the pulp cavity.  The root canal is surrounded by the dentin which is covered by cementum, a material similar to enamel but not as hard.  The cementum protects the dentum and helps hold the root in place.

Regular dental cleanings and checkups by your dentist will help keep all of the parts of your teeth healthy.

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