Talking Teeth: Anatomy of a Tooth

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We’re beginning an educational series about the basics of oral health. Here is part one on the anatomy of your teeth. Take a look, and let us know if there are any topics you’d like us to cover.

Crown: Cresting the gum line in your mouth are 32 beautiful teeth (that’s including your wisdom teeth). All the part that you can see above the gums is called the crown. While not the kind you wear on your head, properly cared for teeth are comparable to the shiny jewels in a crown.

Enamel: Just like a guard protecting the King’s crown, your tooth has a protector in its enamel–a hard covering all over the tooth to the gum line. Enamel is the hardest substance that your body makes.

Root: Deep under the gum and anchored to the bone of the jaw and upper mandible, is the tooth’s root. Fully two-thirds of the entire tooth, it has a covering similar to enamel, but not as strong, called cementum.

Dentin: If the protective enamel and dentin are breached by decay, the invading force will hit the first layer of the inner tooth, called dentin. Dentin is a soft, porous tissue that has a direct line into the center substance of the tooth.

Pulp: The center tissue that houses tiny blood vessels and the nerves of a tooth is called pulp. If infected, your dentist will suggest root canal therapy to save the tooth. This means it will be cleaned out and sanitized, then filled in and covered over.

If you’d like more education about the make up of your mouth and teeth, call Drs. Greer and Henderson, and our helpful team at Gentle Touch Family Dentistry. Phone: 248-552-0076, or come by our office in Lathrup Village, Michigan.