The teeth consist of a hard outer shell called enamel, which is covered by a soft layer called dentin. The gums and tongue also surround them. Teeth are an essential part of the body and have many functions. They help chew food, speak correctly, and can be used for self-defense if necessary.
Your teeth are more than just the pearly whites you see in the mirror. Your teeth are composed of several layers, each with an important function. The outermost layer of your tooth is known as the enamel.
The enamel is hard and acts as a barrier to protect your teeth from the everyday wear and tear of chewing and biting. Enamel protects your teeth from hot and cold temperatures, acidic foods and drinks, and sugary snacks.
While your enamel is strong, it's not indestructible. Over time, constant exposure to acids and sugars can erode your enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to cavities and other problems. That's why taking care of your teeth by using fluoride toothpaste and flossing is essential. It is also vital to visit a dental office near you for examination and cleaning.
Dentin is the hard, calcified tissue that makes up most of your tooth. It's what gives your tooth its strength and shape. Dentin consists of tiny, microscopic tubes that run from the outer layer of your tooth (the enamel) to the innermost layer (the pulp). These tubes are filled with fluids, which help to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Your teeth constantly produce dentin, but things like decay or injury can also damage it. When dentin is damaged, it can cause pain or sensitivity. It's important to regularly see a dentist in South Austin to ensure your dentin is healthy and strong.
The pulp comprises blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp is what gives your tooth its strength and vitality. When the pulp becomes damaged or diseased, it can lead to severe problems. Book an appointment with our South Austin dentist for an assessment if you have lingering tooth sensitivity.
There are four types of teeth in the adult human mouth:
Incisors are the eight thin, sharp teeth at the front of your mouth. They are located at the front of the mouth and help us chew food by cutting it into smaller pieces. Incisors are also used to tear up food and to hold it while we chew it.
The long, sharp teeth protrude from the front of the teeth and are located next to your incisors. These are vital for tearing meat and crushing bones.
Premolars are the teeth that come in between the molars and the incisors. They are also known as bicuspids. They are used to grind food, and they have a lot of cusps on them.
Molars are the back teeth of the mouth, usually consisting of four large, flat teeth with a grinding surface. They are used for chewing food and grinding it into smaller particles.
The root of your tooth anchors it in place in your jawbone. The root is covered with a thin layer of tissue called cementum. Underneath the cementum is a network of tiny fibers called periodontal ligaments. These fibers attach your tooth to the bone and provide support for chewing.
Each tooth has one root that is visible in the mouth. The other roots are hidden and are located below the gum line. The number of roots varies on each tooth, and it's impossible to say how many roots a particular tooth will have without looking at it.
In general, however, the upper and lower canines, incisors, and premolar have each one root (although the Upper 1st premolar can sometimes have two roots). The upper molars have three roots, while the lower ones have two.
Visit Peak Dental in South Austin for more information about teeth and how to care for them.