Understanding the tooth anatomy helps our Brentwood patients take better care of their teeth

When we think of our smile, we tend to take notice of the part of the tooth we readily see. We may also lean to the cosmetic side when considering what is most important about our teeth. Oral health is about much more than how good the smile looks. When we recognize the various components of tooth anatomy, we are better able to understand the vital importance of oral hygiene in the prevention of advanced dental problems. Here, your Brentwood dental team explains.

Most people know that each tooth has a crown and a root because we can see the crown portion of the tooth and teeth roots will hurt if a cavity develops. These are just the two most recognized parts of tooth anatomy and, although very vital, they interact with several other parts. Together, the entire tooth anatomy is designed for preservation so that teeth can last a lifetime.

While the crown of the tooth sits above the gum line, the root makes up the bottom two-thirds of the overall tooth structure. Sitting beneath the gums, the root extends from the tooth itself down into the bone tissue of the jaw. Nutrients and blood are delivered to teeth through the root, and the root stabilizes teeth within the jawbone. Stabilization is also facilitated by cementum and the periodontal ligament, both of which are located around the tooth root.

Within the crown of the tooth are several layers of tooth material that aid in the protection of the innermost area. Enamel, the hardest substance in the body, covers the crown of each tooth. Enamel is shiny and white, giving the smile its beautiful luster. This substance is, however, also porous, which is why teeth tend to become discolored as we age. Not only can enamel become stained, but this material can also become worn down from chewing and from acidic substances such as vinegar or lemon.

Just past enamel is dentin, a supportive material that is softer than enamel. In dentin are nerve fibers that stem from the center of the tooth. These nerve fibers alert us to problems like small cavities. When minor tooth pain occurs, early care can prevent bacteria from moving past enamel and dentin and into the area of the tooth where most nerves are contained.

At the core of a tooth is the pulp chamber, which is filled with nerves, lymph vessels, and blood. These small structures are encased in soft but protective pulp tissue. It is in the pulp chamber where vital nutrients are absorbed, and where signals to and from the brain occur.

At Brentwood Family Dental, we provide outstanding preventive and restorative care so your smile looks and feels its best. Contact our office at (925) 344-5296 for your dental check-up.

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