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The Anatomy of Your Teeth

How much do you know about how your teeth are made? We believe the more our patients know about their teeth, the better they will be able to take good care of them and how important it is to take care of them.

The tooth is one of the most anatomically complex structures in the body. The tissue composition of a tooth is only found in your mouth and is unique to the teeth. Today, your trusted dentists at WhiteWing Dental in McAllen, TX, will give you a tour through your teeth.

Primary & Permanent Teeth

Primary teeth- better known as baby teeth- are the first set of teeth a human grows. Most children have all 20 primary teeth by age three. Baby teeth have shorter, thinner roots compared to permanent teeth, along with a thinner enamel giving them a much whiter look than permanent teeth.

These teeth are just our body’s first draft. Primary teeth usually fall off and are replaced by adult teeth between the ages of 6 and 12. By age 14, all baby teeth will have been replaced by 28 permanent teeth. A complete permanent dentition consists of 32 teeth, including the wisdom teeth which may grow by a person’s 20s.

Types of Teeth

Not all teeth are made equal. Your teeth have different functions and therefore different shapes. Their different shapes and functions give your teeth names to identify them:

⦿ Incisors: The incisors are the middlemost four teeth on the upper and lower jaws. They are used for cutting, chopping and holding food. The section you bite with an incisor is wide and thin, giving these teeth the shape of tiny chisels with a cutting edge.

⦿ Canines: The pointy shaped teeth are canines. Also known as cuspids- meaning a tooth with a single point,- your canines are on either side of the incisors. They are for holding and tearing food. Many may also identify them as their fangs.

⦿ Premolars: After all the permanent teeth have come in, four premolars- known as bicuspids- are found next to each canine. Premolars are meant to be bigger and stronger than canines and incisors. They have ridges that are used to crush and grind food making it easier to swallow and digest.

⦿ Molars: The last type of tooth is the molar. The 12 molars are flat teeth at the rear of the mouth- six on the top jaw and six on the bottom jaw- are very wide with several ridges to grind up food so it can be swallowed. Properly chewing your food with your molars can prevent digestion problems or choking.

The Parts of Your Teeth

Our teeth are made from different layers and parts connecting them to your jaw. They are also made to be durable and help you chew through any food texture. Your can also divide a tooth in three parts:

⦿ Crown: The crown is the portion of the tooth that we can see above the gums, and it is made of three layers. Firstly, it is covered by enamel. The enamel protects the inside of the tooth by acting as a shield. Enamel is so important to protect the teeth that it is even the hardest substance in the human body.

Underneath the hard exterior, lies a second layer. Slightly darker in color, dentin makes up for the majority of the tooth’s material. Dentine is similar to bone and separates the hard enamel from the soft and delicate pulp cavity.

At the core is the pulp cavity, which is where the blood vessels and nerves from the roots come together. This is what makes a tooth alive and gives your teeth the sensitivity to feel the temperature of our food and drinks, or pain.

⦿ Neck: The neck is the middle region of the tooth, dividing the crown from the root at the gum line. It tends to be slightly thinner than the other sections, as a neck.

⦿ Root: The root is located under the gumline and encases more of the pulp. This section of the pulp contains each tooth’s nerve endings and the blood vessels that bring nutrients to the tooth./The number of roots of each type of tooth varies. Incisors, canines and premolars will have one root, molars will have two or three. Our teeth are connected to our jaws by the long roots, which are held in place and cushioned by the periodontal membrane between them and the surrounding jaw bone.

If after reading this, you believe something is off with your tooth, stop by WhiteWing Dental for a quick checkup!

Now that you know how your teeth are built, you will be able to tell when something is wrong with them faster. But your trusted McAllen dentists at WhiteWing Dental are always here to help you! How much do you know about how your teeth are made? We believe the more our patients know about their teeth, the better they will be able to take good care of them and how important it is to take care of them.

Book Your Dental Appointment Today!

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