What Comprises a Tooth?
Your teeth are a vital part of your body because they allow you to break down food into smaller pieces to make it digestible. Moreover, the different parts of a tooth play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy smile. A dentist in Land O Lakes unveils each element to help you understand its function and help you take better care of your oral health.
Understanding the Different Parts of a Tooth
The crown is the visible part of a tooth that protrudes above the gumline. It’s covered with the hardest substance in the body, called enamel. The crown is responsible for chewing and grinding food into smaller, digestible pieces.
The tooth’s root is embedded in the jawbone. Besides anchoring the tooth in place, the root also supports the crown. The thin layer of cementum covers the root and attaches the tooth to the jawbone.
The enamel is the tooth’s protective outer layer, covering the crown. Enamel is a hard, mineralized substance that protects the tooth from decay and damage. Since it isn’t a living tissue, it doesn’t regenerate once damaged or worn away.
The dentin is the tooth’s inner layer that lies beneath the enamel. It’s a hard, yellowish substance that forms the bulk of the tooth. It’s important to note that dentin isn’t as hard as enamel. For this reason, decay or trauma can easily compromise it.
The pulp is the soft tissue that lies beneath the dentin and is found at the tooth’s center. It houses the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that nourish the tooth and provide sensory information to the brain. Moreover, an infected or damaged pulp can cause severe pain that may require root canal therapy.
The cementum is a thin layer of tissue that covers the tooth’s root and anchors it to the jawbone by providing a surface for the periodontal ligament to attach.
A periodontal ligament is a group of fibers that attach the tooth to the jawbone. It acts as a shock absorber because it cushions the tooth against the impact of chewing and biting.