The Anatomy of Your Teeth

When was the last time that you really thought about your teeth? Many people only think about their teeth when they are brushing them at the end of the day or when something goes wrong. However, your teeth are hard-working heroes inside of your mouth that help you eat, talk, and do many other things. What is the basic anatomy of your teeth, and what should you know to appreciate them?

What Are Teeth?

Your teeth sit inside your mouth, and they are the hardest substances in your entire body. They perform a variety of critical functions, including chewing and speaking. While many people assume that teeth are bone, they are considered ectodermal organs. This puts them in the same category as your skin and hair.

Most people have 32 permanent teeth in their mouths. However, some people are born with missing teeth, some people are born with extra teeth, and some people are born with baby teeth that do not have adult teeth beneath them. Most children will have 20 baby teeth that appear when they are a few months old through six years old. Once these teeth fall out, permanent teeth will take their place.

What Are the Types of Teeth?

There are four different types of teeth within your mouth, and each of them has a different job. The four types include:

  1. Canines: Canine teeth are the teeth that are visible near the front of your mouth that look like vampire fangs or dog teeth. They are more pointed than the other teeth in your mouth, and there are four total. These teeth help us to chew tough foods, like meat or vegetables. 
  2. Incisors: The incisors are the most obvious teeth in your mouth, as they are all completely visible when you smile. Most adults have four incisors in the top of their mouths and four incisors in the bottoms of their mouth. These teeth have narrow edges that also help with eating.
  3. Molars: The molars are the teeth that sit in the back of your mouth and that assist with tougher chewing. In a normal mouth, there will be 12 molars total, with three of them falling in each back corner. Molars include your wisdom teeth, or third molars, so many American adults only have eight molars instead of 12. 
  4. Premolars: The premolars are sometimes referred to as bicuspids, and they are situated between your canine teeth and the molars in the back of your mouth. 

What Are the Parts of Each Tooth?

All teeth are made up of a crown and root. The crown refers to the part of the tooth that extends above the gum line. The root is everything you cannot see, and it is what keeps your teeth anchored in place.

Every tooth in your mouth is made up of a variety of substances, including:

  • Enamel: Enamel is the outermost part of your tooth. Enamel is white in color and it is primarily composed of calcium phosphate.
  • Dentin: Dentin is a layer beneath your tooth enamel. It is composed of many very small tubes. If your enamel has been compromised, the dentin making contact with hot or cold substances is what will make your teeth feel sensitive.
  • Pulp: Under the enamel and dentin, you will find the pulp of your teeth. The pulp inside of your teeth is soft, and it contains nerves and blood vessels.
  • Cementum: The cementum is connective tissue that keeps your teeth attached to your gums and jawbone. 

Protect Your Smile at Cloverdale Dental Centre

Cloverdale Dental Centre is here to help every member of your family achieve and maintain a beautiful and healthy smile. We offer a comprehensive range of personalized dental care solutions in Cloverdale. To learn more and schedule your appointment, contact us today at 604-574-3522.