Many people think that teeth are a type of bone, but the truth is that your teeth are far stronger than your bones. In fact, this is probably why it’s very common for archaeologists to find more teeth than they do bones when they’re doing excavations. Your teeth withstand a lot of pressure when you’re chewing up food, and they have to be tough to hold up under years of tearing and chewing your food. Of course, teeth also play an important role in your speech as well. How do your teeth hold up so well? What are they made of? Here’s a closer look at the parts of your teeth and what they’re made out of.
Every tooth is actually made up of several different parts, and those parts are made out of different things. The parts of your teeth are:
- Enamel – Enamel is the outer, white layer of your tooth that you can see. It’s the hardest part of your tooth and it’s mainly made out of calcium phosphate, which is a rock-hard mineral. The enamel is designed to hold up under the pressure of chewing throughout your life. However, even though it’s made of this hard mineral, it’s not impervious. Acids created from bacteria can break down enamel and a blunt trauma can also crack your enamel. Unfortunately, your tooth enamel doesn’t regenerate itself like your bones do, so you need a dentist to take care of the problem if your tooth enamel is damaged.
- Dentin – Below your enamel is the dentin, which is a hard tissue that has microscopic little tubes. If your enamel sustains damage, cold or heat may enter the tooth through these little tubes, resulting in pain or sensitivity.
- Pulp – The pulp is a living, soft inner structure of your tooth and nerves and blood vessels run through the pulp. These blood vessels and nerves are connected to your jaw bone. This is a very delicate part of the tooth, and if anything gets to the pulp layer, you’ll likely feel a lot of pain.
- Cementum – The cementum is a layer of connective tissue binding a tooth’s root to the jawbone and gums.
- Periodontal Ligament – This is a type of tissue that works to make sure teeth are held tightly against your jaw bone.
Within your mouth, adults usually have 32 teeth. These teeth include:
- Incisors – These are the four teeth located right in the middle of your lower and upper jaws
- Canines – You have four canines, and these are the pointed teeth that are on the outside of your incisors
- Premolars – You have eight premolars that are between your molars and your canines
- Molars – Molars are the flat teeth that are located near the rear of your mouth. You have eight of them and they are the best teeth for grinding up your food when you chew.
- Wisdom Teeth – Sometimes referred to as the third molars, these four teeth are in the very back of your mouth. Usually they don’t grow into until you’re an adult, but in many cases, they have to be removed to avoid tooth displacement or due to other problems they cause in the mouth.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Even though your teeth have that tough outer layer of enamel that’s so tough and hard, it doesn’t hold up to everything. You have to take measures to keep your teeth healthy if you want them to last a lifetime. Your teeth are hard, but they are still made up of natural elements. Tooth decay and other oral health problems can make your enamel start wearing away, which leaves the softer layers of the teeth are left open to infection and other problems. Routine brushing and flossing can go a long way to keeping that outer layer of enamel healthy. It’s also important to make sure you have regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist to keep teeth strong. Don’t let that tough layer of enamel wear away and cause you oral health problems. Book your checkup with the dentist today to make sure you keep your teeth healthy and strong.