Teeth are amazing structures. In fact, it takes 10,000 genes to make up just one tooth while it takes only 30,000 to make up the entire human body! Composed of both layers and parts, each tooth has a specific job or function. Knowing more about these little wonders can help you not only understand more about your own teeth, but also help your child identify possible problems.
First and foremost teeth are covered by enamel, a substance that most of us have heard of but know little about. Enamel, as defined by DentalFind.com, is composed almost entirely of calcium salts and is the hardest substance in the body. Enamel covers the entire part of the tooth that lies above the gum line. Penelope McAllister, hygienist for Dr. Halley, reminds us that enamel is more than just the outer layer of the tooth, “Enamel is the tooth’s first line of defense against the bacteria that is in all of our mouths. Although it can withstand much abuse, and is harder than bone, we have to remember to do our part to keep it clean. Once enamel has been weakened and repaired due to decay it is no longer the protector it once was.”
The tooth is also composed of parts that allow it to serve as a chewing factory. The chewing surface, known as the crown, lies above the gum line and is covered in protective enamel. On molars, the crown is filled with pits and grooves and it is this area that may require sealants to prevent decay. The crown is composed mainly of dentin with pulp in the very center.
Below the gum line lies the root. This comprises approximately two-thirds of a tooth. The root is normally buried in bone and serves to anchor the tooth in position. A root may be single or divided into several branches and is composed of pulp at its innermost core.
For more information of these wonders we call teeth, visit the websites below…