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The Anatomy Of Your Teeth

Diagram of Tooth Structure

Our teeth may appear to be simple hard surfaces inside our mouths that are used to cut and grind up food. Their simple appearance is deceptive and hides an incredibly complex and important tool that our body uses not just for eating, but also for helping us speak clearly. Once you get beneath the surface, there are multiple layers and areas of the tooth that we generally never see. If you want to learn more about the amazing structures that are your teeth, read on and we’ll take you on a tour of one of the most important parts of the human body.

A Tour Of The Tooth

There are three different areas that make up the entire tooth, and you may be surprised to learn that most of it you never actually get to see. These three areas protect three portions of the structure of the tooth that keep the whole thing healthy and strong. We’ll start by covering the areas of the tooth.

The Three Areas Of The Tooth

  • Crown – When you look in the mirror the part of the tooth that you see is actually known as a crown. The crown is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gumline and is the surface which we use for grinding and cutting up food in our mouths.
  • Gumline – At the border between the root of your tooth and the crown is the gum line, the place where the tooth makes contact with the gums. This area is where plaque and bacteria gather and begin to cause gingivitis. Careful oral care will keep them pink and healthy.
  • Root – As you move down the tooth beneath the gum line you’ll find the root of your teeth. While it’s typically an invisible portion of your tooth the root comprises over half of the total area of your teeth. The root serves to secure your teeth in your jaw.

The Three Parts Of Your Tooth

  • Enamel – Our bones are incredibly resilient portions of our anatomy, but they aren’t the strongest part of the human body. The enamel that coats our teeth is remarkably durable, so durable that even bones aren’t suited to as much punishment. Made of a tissue that’s been mineralized it is still vulnerable to decay if not properly cleaned.
  • Dentin – The next layer under the enamel is porous, filled with millions of minute holes that allow sensation and nutrition to pass from the pulp. This material is not sensitive in and of itself, but the pulp can experience sensation from the dentin making it a painful area to stimulate.
  • Pulp – The pulp is the living, beating heart of your tooth. Blood flow and nutrients pass through here, feeding and nourishing the tooth throughout our lives. In spite of its vital role in nourishing the tooth is can actually be removed in the adults as the gums are capable of sustaining them at this stage.

Dr. Deborah Tabb at Bethesda Family Dentistry is ready to serve you and your family with dental education and preventative care at her office in Bethesda, RI. Simply give a call to schedule an appointment and you’ll be on the way to great dental health today!

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