While you may imagine your teeth as solid blocks of enamel wedged into your gum, they’re actually complex structures with multiple layers and tissues. Our teeth develop and change as we get older, and proper care is necessary to make sure we maintain them for a lifetime. If you’ve ever been curious about the internal anatomy of your teeth, then this simple guide will be of great help. Come with us as we discover the layers and structures of your teeth and how they all work together to let you eat, speak, and smile!
Three Distinct Layers
The outer layer of your tooth is comprised of enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. This layer is what most of us are familiar with, and is the reason we can eat a broad range of foods. While durable, this layer is subject to constant wear and tear, going through cycles of decay and remineralization so long as they remain healthy. It’s only when the decay gets out of control that we begin to have problems.
Dentin – The Porous Support Structure
Beneath the outer layer can be found the porous substance known as dentin. Nine times softer than enamel, dentin helps provide support to the outer structure while retaining subtle flexibility that prevents your teeth from cracking under pressure during regular use. When you’re experiencing sensitivity to substances or temperature, your dentin has likely become exposed, and a trip to the dentist is immediately necessary.
Pulp – The Living Core Of Your Tooth
Deep within our teeth can be found the soft gelatin-like tissue known as pulp. The pulp contains the only living tissue in the tooth and is comprised primarily of nerves and blood vessels. Protected by the dentin and enamel, this portion of the tooth helps nourish it as it grows and provides sensation to the tooth. Should it become infected, it can be quite painful, and a root canal may be necessary to eliminate the infection before it becomes dangerous. If left too long, a root canal may not be sufficient, and the tooth may have to be extracted.
More Than Just Layers
In addition to the layers of enamel, dentin, and pulp, your tooth has several structures that bear mentioning. Above the gum line can be found the crown of the tooth, which includes the biting surfaces and exposed sides. Beneath the gum line is found the roots of your teeth. Inside the root can be found several channels or canals, which is what the term root canal refers to. The full name of the associated procedure is “Root Canal Treatment.”
If you have more questions about the anatomy of your tooth or are ready to schedule your next appointment, call our offices in Troy, MI today! Our friendly staff will cooperate with you to arrange your visit date and time to fit your schedule. Under the guidance of Dr. Raj-Shikha Batra, the Troy Dental Studio provides c
omprehensive dental care to its patient family and is ready to welcome your family to join them.