The Anatomy of a Tooth Explained
Your teeth are amazing tools! They give you a great smile, help you to speak clearly and to chew and enjoy delicious food. Sometimes though, we take our teeth for granted or neglect them until we have a problem or we are in pain. Teeth may look simple and humble on the outside, but a normal mouth has 32 teeth, all with the potential to last a lifetime. Your teeth can be in it for the long haul, but your dental routine must show that you value their role in your life. So let our Placerville dentists teach you more about the parts of your teeth.
What Are the Parts of a Tooth?
Teeth are made of four dental tissues. Three of these tissues, dentin, enamel and cementum, are hard tissues. The other tissue is soft, the pulp found in the center of your tooth. This soft tissue portion contains nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels and keeps the tooth alive.
The Seen and the Unseen
- The part of a healthy tooth that you see is called the crown, covered with enamel.
- Enamel is a hard tissue protecting the outside of the tooth, but containing no living cells. This is why enamel can wear out and decay.
- Supporting the enamel is dentin. Since it features many microscopic hollow tubes leading to the center of a tooth, when the dentin is exposed from loss of enamel, you experience pain and sensitivity, especially to heat and cold, as well as sweet or acidic food and drinks.
- The neck of your tooth is where the crown meets the root.
- Your tooth’s root canal is full of pulp, which receives the nutrients supplied by your blood vessels. The nerves in the root pulp also send pain signals, in case there is a problem with the tooth, like a bacterial infection caused by decay.
- Gingiva is the soft tissue that surrounds the base of your tooth, or covers an unerupted tooth. Healthy gums are firm and pink and do not bleed when you brush and floss.
- Cementum is the hard tissue “cementing” your tooth in place, protecting the tooth’s root and keeping the tooth attached to the periodontal ligament, which is a system of connective fibers attaching the root to the socket.
Since healthy teeth are a vital part of enjoying life, the Placerville Dental Group takes oral health care seriously. Everyone should have a good daily oral care routine. Remember to brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and don’t forget to floss a minimum of once a day! And if you have a tooth that is causing you pain, call us at 530-295-8000 without delay so our dentists can treat you and your teeth with the best care possible!