You use your teeth everyday. They are among the strongest and most valuable parts of your body. How well do you know your teeth? By understanding the distinct parts of a tooth, you can better understand how to take care of them. After all, your teeth are designed to last a lifetime! Knowledge of tooth anatomy also helps you communicate with your dentist if there is a problem or certain recommended treatment plan.
- This is the top part of each tooth, and the part that is visible above the gum line. Each type of tooth has a uniquely shaped crown to help you eat. For example, the front teeth are more chiseled for cutting while the back teeth (molars) are more flat for grinding.
- Did you know that up to two-thirds of your tooth is not even visible? This tooth root represents the portion of the tooth that is embedded in bone beneath the gum line. It is what anchors your tooth in place and keeps your jaw bone stimulated.
- Enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth, and it is also the hardest and most mineralized part of your entire body. Your enamel can erode or become damaged if not properly cared for. A thin enamel layer can produce tooth discoloration and tooth sensitivity.
- The next layer of the tooth under the enamel is called dentin. It contains direct access to the tooth center through tiny tubes. Dentin is more yellow in color, which means that it is more visible on patients who have thin or worn enamel.
- The center of your tooth is the pulp. This is where soft tissues, nerves and blood vessels are located. If decay reaches the pulp, significant pain can result. At this point, a root canal is needed to save the tooth.
At Mitzi Morris DMD, we love educating patients about their smile. Your teeth are fascinating structures with powerful benefits to your health and self-confidence. Making sure you know your smile from the inside out can help you find the time to care for it the way it needs and deserves!