Do you know the parts of your teeth?

Health

Do you know the parts of your teeth?

Incisive Bite

Dr Sharon Robinson

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


HAVE you ever wondered what makes up a tooth?

Each part of a tooth has unique functions and properties. The major parts of a tooth include enamel, dentin, cementum, root(s), and the root canal chamber(s) inside the tooth.

Damaged teeth, especially teeth with cracked or eroded enamel, are very susceptible to cavities. Advanced gum disease, another oral health condition that threatens tooth health, attacks the bone of the teeth and may cause tooth loss.

Understanding the function of each part of a tooth and the steps required to keep teeth healthy with home care and regular check-ups are important components of oral health education for you and your family.

Tooth enamel

Tooth enamel is a protective barrier that surrounds the visible part of the tooth. It is composed of strong minerals, including calcium phosphate. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and healthy enamel is resistant to cavity-causing bacteria. Because of its mineral composition, tooth enamel is translucent.
Fortunately, enamel can be strengthened. Fluoride, a common mineral, helps replenish deficits in tooth enamel. Dentists will offer special fluoride treatments. These are commonly administered to children to help keep their teeth strong and free from cavities.

Dentin

Dentin is found underneath the enamel surface of the tooth and underneath the cementum that forms along a tooth's roots. Made of living cellular material and tissue, dentin is what makes up most of a tooth's structure.
Dentin is a bone-like substance that contains microscopic tubules. Unlike enamel, exposed dentin is highly susceptible to the bacteria that cause dental cavities and can cause tooth sensitivity.

Cementum

Cementum is a coating that surrounds the roots of teeth and is like enamel, but softer. Cementum assists with root stability by attaching to the fibres that anchor the tooth in the jawbone.

Roots

Much as a tree's roots help anchor it in the ground, a tooth's roots anchor it in the jawbone. This allows teeth to withstand the force of biting and chewing food daily.
One major threat to the health of a tooth's roots is periodontal disease. This oral care disease is caused by bacteria in the dental plaque invading the gum tissue and supporting bone, thus leading to destruction of the bone holding the tooth or teeth in place.

Tooth roots are integral to maintaining dental health. Even children can develop gum disease. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene practices — including thorough flossing and brushing — is an easy way to keep mouths healthy with home care. Regular dental cleanings for you and your family will also combat tartar and, ultimately, gum disease.

Root and pulp canals

Located inside the tooth in a hollow chamber is the root or pulp canal. A tooth may have one root and many premolar and molar teeth may contain two or three roots. It houses cellular material including pulp and the tooth's roots.

This area of the tooth is extremely sensitive and is responsible for providing the blood flow and nutrients that are necessary to keep teeth alive. When this area is damaged or infected by extensive decay and trauma, root canal treatment is often necessary to save a tooth from extraction.

Learning about the basics of tooth anatomy will help you understand how oral health conditions form so that you can teach your children healthy dental habits.

Dr Sharon Robinson DDS has offices at the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT