Too many people assume that their teeth are just an extension of their bones, but that is far from the truth! Your teeth are a unique part of your body, with a fascinating structure and multiple layers that help them serve you well, whether you’re eating delicious foods or trying to impress someone with your dazzling smile. Do you want to know more about exactly what your teeth are made of? Your dentist in McKinney is here to take you on a brief tour of a human tooth.
Enamel is the hard, calcified tissue that constitutes the outermost layer of the tooth. It is naturally a bit translucent and has a slightly yellow or bluish tint to it. Its job is to protect the inner layers of the tooth from the ravages of everyday life. Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it isn’t invincible. Tiny bits of it wear away throughout the day, which is why brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is so important; the fluoride helps to remineralize the enamel land keep it strong.
Tucked away behind the enamel is the dentin, a yellow substance that contains many tubules. The tubules connect to the nerve inside the tooth, which is why you may experience sensitivity if your enamel gets worn away to the point where it is easy for outside substances to contact the dentin.
Dentin is fairly hard, but it is much softer than bone or tooth enamel. Protecting it is important because dentin is the last line of defense against decay before the problem reaches the tooth’s pulp.
In the deepest part of your tooth is the pulp chamber. This space contains the pulp, which is made up of the tooth’s nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissues. The root canal is also part of the pulp chamber; as its name implies, it is the portion that extends into the root of the tooth.
Crown and Root
The part of a tooth that you typically see above the gum line is the crown, and the part below the gum line is the root. The root doesn’t have any enamel, which is why you may notice increased sensitivity if you experience gum recession.
The term “cementum” may conjure up images of a tiny construction crew pouring cement around your tooth, and just like real cement, dental cementum is a hard substance that holds things together. It surrounds the dentin on the tooth’s root and helps the periodontal ligament attach to the tooth. Basically, it’s like an anchor that helps to keep your chomper where it belongs.
This slightly mobile connective tissue helps to hold the tooth in its socket. Because these ligaments allow your teeth to move slightly, orthodontists area able to use braces to correct misalignment.
Your teeth are amazing! We hope this brief tour of your pearly whites has enhanced your appreciation for every member of your remarkable smile.
About Oakbrook Dental and Orthodontics
As your family dentist in McKinney, we have two general dentists and a board-certified orthodontist on our team, all of whom are eager to help our patients enjoy healthy smiles. If you ever have questions about your oral health, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 469-526-4040.