Tooth Anatomy: Understanding The Different Parts Of A Tooth

Each tooth has a particular function and a specific location and shape that supports that function. Despite having varied shapes, all teeth share the same anatomical components. Orthodontists say that every tooth has a clinical crown (crown that is exposed to the oral cavity), an anatomic crown (from the CEJ to the cusps), and root(s). The periodontal ligaments are a group of fibers that connect the tooth to the alveolar bone beneath. Enamel, dentin, cementum, and pulp are the same four parts each tooth consists of.

Enamel: The toughest component in the body, the enamel is slightly transparent and covers the anatomical crown of the tooth. The cells that produce it are called ameloblasts. The tooth’s first line of defense is its enamel. Although it can bear biting force, once fully developed, it cannot be regenerated. However, if only slight demineralization (becoming more porous) has occurred, it can remineralize (harden) and halt the progression of tooth decay with good nutrition and oral hygiene.

Dentin: Below the enamel and cementum of the tooth is a material called dentin. Odontoblasts are the cells that produce dentin. Dentin is available in three varieties. When the tooth first erupts, primary dentin is what is present. Throughout the tooth, secondary dentin continues to develop. Inflammation, irritation, or damage can lead to reparative dentin formation. The tooth’s color (hue and tint) is determined by the color of the dentin shining through the enamel. As dentin is weaker than enamel, it is more susceptible to invasion by decay if it penetrates the enamel (via demineralization).

Cementum: The material that surrounds the tooth’s root is called cementum. It is also relatively thin, not as hard as enamel, but harder than bone. Cementum is created by cementoblast cells. The cementum is joined to the alveolar bone by fibers that extend from it. Something like the hard toothbrush bristles can abrade the cementum. Moreover, the cementum can become extremely sensitive to variations in mouth temperature if it is exposed to the oral cavity due to gingival recession (hot and cold). The cementoenamel junction, also known as the CEJ, is where the cementum and enamel converge.

Pulp: The pulp, which contains all the nerves and blood arteries that supply the tooth, is the last part. The pulp is split into two sections: the pulp chamber, which is found in the tooth’s crown, and the pulp canals, which are found in the tooth’s roots. If exposed to decay, a bacterial infection may develop in the pulp area, necessitating root canal therapy to save the tooth. The pulp chamber and canals are vast when the teeth first erupt, but the pulp area shrinks as secondary dentin develops.

Preventing Decay And Infection

Good dental hygiene includes thoroughly cleaning around and on top of every tooth.

Regular pediatric dentist checkups and cleanings for your little ones: Take your kids to a dentist every six months for good preventative care. Cleanings and checks prevent issues like cavities and gum disease from developing in the first place and catch them early when they do.

Brushing: Make sure you clean your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time. For the optimum clean, use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. To help you get there, if you’re having problems, try setting a timer until you get used to how it feels. Some electric toothbrushes also include an automatic timer, which can be a wise investment.

Flossing: Remember to floss after cleaning your teeth. Make it a routine to floss before visiting the dentist for your dental appointment at Invisalign. For a complete cleaning, floss is necessary because a toothbrush can’t always get to all the spots you need to clean. You can develop the flossing habit by keeping the box somewhere you’ll see it every night.