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Teeth are an important part of our lives, but often times taken for granted. They are the distinguishing factor in your beautiful smile while at the same time providing you with the complicated yet causal action of chewing. Knowing what teeth are made of can give you a better understanding of why cleaning is so important and how external factors can affect your dental health. So what are teeth made of anyway?

What Are Teeth Made Of

Types of Teeth

Everybody has four different types of teeth. They each serve a different purpose based on their shape and position in your mouth, but the basic anatomy of the tooth remains the same. The four types of teeth are:

  • Incisors
  • Canines
  • Premolars
  • Molars

There is a fifth type of tooth that you may or may not have that comes in much later than the rest of your teeth. This tooth is your Third Molar, or more commonly known as wisdom teeth!

Layers of Teeth

Our teeth are made up of different layers of both hard and soft tissue. Each layer provides different and important purposes that keep your smile and teeth healthy.

  • Enamel
  • Dentin
  • Cementum
  • Pulp

anatomy of tooth
Image courtesy of U.S. National Library of Medicine

Enamel is the outermost layer that you can see and feel. It is comprised of a strong mineral that keeps your teeth healthy and free of decay. Enamel is the hardest substance in your body. The next layer is called dentin, which is made of a hard, calcified tissue that supports the overall structure of your tooth. After dentin is the cementum, which covers the root of the tooth and keeps your tooth stable in your jaw. The last layer of your tooth is called pulp. The pulp is a soft tissue that provides a path for your blood vessels and nerves to flow from the roots up to the crown.

A lot goes into the structure of teeth, so you can see why it is so important to keep every aspect healthy, for when one layer is damaged it affects the whole tooth. Keep that smile looking healthy and surprise Dr. Louk with your dental knowledge at your next dental appointment.

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