Tooth Anatomy

You have 32 of them in your mouth. You know to brush them twice a day, floss once day, and make appointments twice a year to get them cleaned. But what exactly makes up a tooth?

For starters, the tooth is surrounded by enamel, the tough, shiny, white outer surface of the tooth. Enamel protects your teeth from daily use such as chewing, biting, crunching and grinding. Enamel also provides a layer of insulation for the tooth when exposed to chemicals or severe temperatures. However, this can also cause enamel to crack or chip. Cracked or chipped enamel can result in enamel erosion, also caused by excessive soft drink consumption, and dry mouth, among other things.

The crown is the most visible part of the tooth and is protected by enamel. It sits above your gumline. When the enamel is cracked or chipped, a dental crown may be needed to protect a now weak tooth from breaking or decaying.

The root is below the gumline, and makes up about 2/3rds of the tooth’s total length. The space between the roots is called the root canal, and it consists of the pulp chamber, and the main canals that connect the more intricate anatomical branches of the tooth.

You may have heard of a root canal operation, where the pulp chamber and root canals are removed through endodontic therapy, resulting in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion.

For more information on tooth anatomy and to schedule your free tooth consultation, contact the Houston dental offices of Greenspoint Dental.