The Anatomy of your Teeth

A cartoon tooth smiling.

A cartoon tooth smiling.

We’re all familiar with terms like teeth and gums, but there’s a whole other level to the anatomy of our mouths. The human tooth may look simple to the common eye—like nothing more than a series of posts used for chewing—but each tooth is a remarkable and complex tool of the body. They may look like whole objects, but every single one of your teeth has ten components making up its structure. During your next Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment ask your Tulsa dentist if they have an educational model of the tooth and see why they have their jobs cut out for them.

Anatomical Crown: The part of your tooth that is visible. Everything that we see above the gum line is considered the anatomical crown.

Cementum: A connective tissue that protects the tooth’s roots and links it to the periodontal ligament. These prevent the nerves in the roots of your teeth from being irritated while also protecting them from damage.

Dentin: The material of the tooth that lies beneath the protective layers of enamel and cementum. Everything below the enamel of your teeth and prior to the pulp chamber is made from this substance.

Enamel: The hard, protective coating on the outside of the teeth. The first and primary line of defense for teeth. Enamel is the hardest part of the human body.

Gums: The soft protective tissue that insulates the roots of your teeth. This fleshy tissue serves as the backdrop for the rest of our mouth, overlapping both teeth and jaw and protecting both.

Jawbone: The part of your jaw where the roots of your teeth are anchored. If you’ve ever seen a model of the human skeleton, this is the part of the mouth that tends to fall off.

Neck: The base of your tooth where the visible part disappears into the gums. This is more of a delineation between two sections of the tooth, rather than a true component of the tooth.

Periodontal Ligament: Connective tissues that anchor the roots of your teeth into their respective sockets within the jawbone. Think of it like support cables than tie into the tooth roots on one end and the jawbone on the other.

Pulp Chamber: An area at the center of each tooth that holds pulp; a soft tissue full of nerves and blood vessels. This is the living core of each tooth, but surprisingly, a tooth can still be maintained and viable for use even in instances when the pulp must be removed. The tooth, however, will be considered dead at this point.

Root Canal: An extension of the pulp chamber that runs within the roots of a tooth. The procedure of the same name involves going beneath the tooth and clearing out the root canal and is done when that section of the roots is damaged beyond repair.

As you might imagine, if something goes wrong with even one of these components, then the rest of the tooth is at higher risk. Thankfully, brushing and flossing daily, and going in twice a year for a Tulsa teeth cleaning will keep the entirety of your tooth as healthy as can be.

Please don’t wait for your teeth to be damaged, schedule a Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment today and let our Tulsa dentist help you keep every tooth in tiptop shape.