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Tooth Anatomy

Posted on: January 5th, 2022 by | No Comments

You only get one set of 32 adult teeth, so knowing the anatomy of your teeth can help you better understand and manage your oral health. Teeth are strong, but the care you give them can make them more resilient so you can avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

Strong Inside and Out

The basic external structure of the tooth includes the crown and the root. The crown sticks up above the gum line and the root goes below the surface into the jawbone.

Each tooth is made up of layers from outside to inside. Above the gum surface, you have enamel, dentine, and pulp. Below the surface, the tooth is comprised of cementum, dentine, and the root canal.  The cementum connects the root of the tooth to the gum tissue.

Enamel—the white, hard surface of the tooth—makes up the main outer layer of the crown of each tooth. Enamel is important to the integrity of the tooth. It also happens to be one of the strongest, hardest materials in your body with a very special structure. When the enamel gets damaged, it can become a cavity, which causes damage that invades the tooth.

The next layer inside the tooth is dentin. Dentin provides a thick layer of tooth material. The very inside of the tooth, the pulp cavity, is filled with pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. The nerves and blood vessels travel out of the pulp cavity, through the root canals and into the jaw.

The Power of Fluoride

Tooth enamel can be strengthened with fluoride products, such as fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, and fluoride treatments. Municipal water that is fortified with the mineral also helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening the tooth enamel. It doesn’t take a lot of fluoride to enhance the strength of your tooth enamel. Daily use of fluoride is proven effective in reducing cavities, and brushing your teeth helps both your teeth and your gums.

Protect Your Teeth

Enamel is really tough stuff, but even so, it can be damaged by trauma or the repeated effects of acid and sugar/carbohydrates. Here are three ways you can protect your teeth:

  1. Brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste. In less than 5 minutes a day, you can help protect the enamel and avoid cavities and gum decay.
  1. Eat foods that are good for your teeth. That includes crunchy raw vegetables, calcium-rich foods, and water.
  1. Avoid beverages and foods that can damage your enamel. Take the following off the menu: sugary, acidic drinks, candies, and carb-heavy desserts. Rinse your mouth after drinking or eating citrus or sticky carbs like potato chips.
  2. Address tooth grinding. If you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about solutions for this issue.

Looking for more simple ways to enhance your dental hygiene routine? Check out this post.

When you have questions about your teeth or your children’s teeth, contact Uptown Dental in Marion. We can help you with regular dental care for you and your whole family.