February 3, 2010

Parts of a Tooth

If you want to learn about oral care, one of the best ways to start out is to learn the names for all the parts of a tooth. While learning the parts of a tooth can be a bit of a challenge, it is also well worth the work. After all, the more you know about basic dental anatomy, the easier it will be for you to take good care of your teeth.

What are the Parts of a Tooth?

The tooth is made up of four kinds of tissue. These are called enamel, dentin, cementum, and pulp. A tooth may be divided into two parts, which are called the crown and the root. The crown is the part of the tooth that you can see in when you open your mouth. The root is the part that goes down beneath the gum line.

The point where the crown and root meet is called the neck. The hard white outer part of the crown is the tooth’s enamel. Beneath the enamel lies a layer of stuff known as the dentin. While the dentin extends all the way down the root, the enamel does not. Instead, the root is coated from the neck down with stuff called cementum. This joins the root of the tooth to the bone in your jaw.

Under the dentin is yet another layer of soft tissue known as pulp. The pulp is made up of nerve fibers, lymph vessels, veins, arteries, and connective tissue. Pulp fills a region inside the crown of the tooth that is known as the pulp chamber.

The pulp runs down the inside of the tooth through a canal in the dentin called the root canal. While some teeth may have a single root canal, others may have up to four.

And now you know the basic parts of a tooth! Want more? Learn all about oral hygiene!