The Parts of a Tooth

Friday, September 16th, 2011, 3:53 pm

What do you think of when you hear the word tooth? Maybe you think of a healthy white tooth, perhaps tooth decay or maybe even tooth loss. Most people don’t think very much about the different parts that makeup a tooth – until something goes wrong.

The part of the tooth that we see above the gumline is called the crown. The part that we can’t see below the gumline is the root which extends down and anchors the tooth to the jawbone. Each individual tooth is made up of four types of tissue:

  • Enamel is the hard substance that covers the visible part of your tooth. This translucent substance is  hardest substance in the human body and protects your teeth from decay.
  • Dentin is the layer found below the enamel. This substance is calcified and looks like bone. The dentin is not as hard as enamel and is likely to become decayed if the enamel is missing from the tooth.
  • Cementum is light yellow in color and covers the tooth root and helps anchor the root to the bone. This substance is softer than dentin or enamel but is usually covered by the gums. If the gums are worn away or shrink because of disease or damage then the cementum can become the target of harmful bacteria.
  • Pulp is the substance that forms the center of your tooth. This part of the tooth contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissues that deliver nutrients to your tooth.

Keeping your teeth healthy starts with good home care. This means brushing and flossing daily to remove harmful bacteria that can break down the enamel of your tooth. Using fluoride toothpaste helps rebuild damaged enamel.

Once decay has occurred your tooth cannot heal itself. The good news is that cavities can now be filled with tooth-colored composite restorations which allow you to maintain a beautiful, white smile. No more ugly, black, mercury amalgam fillings. These restorations are more than just cosmetically pleasing, they are also strong, durable and less reactive to heat and cold than old-fashioned fillings.

To schedule your appointment for restoration of a dental cavity please contact Wilbanks Smile Center at 828-627-9282. Located in beautiful Toccoa, GA we are your one-stop-shop for all your dental health needs.

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Category: cavities, Mercury Free Dentistry

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