You probably already know that you need to visit your dentist at least twice a year, and brush your teeth at least twice a day as part of good oral health care habits. Many patients go through the motions when it comes to caring for their teeth, but do you actually know why you do the things you do for your teeth? By getting to know the parts of your tooth a little bit better, you can understand how to care for your teeth as a whole. In today’s blog, we offer a brief overview of the parts of your tooth, and why each one is important to your tooth’s function.
The Crown of Your Tooth Protects the Rest
When you picture a tooth mentally, you probably picture the crown. The crown, while only approximately one third of your tooth, is the outermost layer of your tooth that protects the rest of the parts of your tooth. The outside of your crown is covered in enamel, the hardest tissue in the human body. This allows you to chew food while protecting what lies beneath the crown of your tooth. When plaque buildup on the surface of your tooth, the acid produced by bacteria can wear away at your enamel. Over time, this leads to a hole in your tooth — a cavity — which bacteria can colonize. As the enamel is penetrated, the infection will spread.
The Roots of Your Tooth Hold it in Place
Beneath the surface of your gum line, your tooth is held in place by its roots. Your teeth are sturdy and durable because they are connected by tissue to your jawbone. This gives you bite power. Just as bacteria can build up on the surface of your tooth, it can also build up around and beneath the gum line. Prolonged inflammation and infection is known as gingivitis. Over time, gingivitis can exacerbate and lead to periodontitis. This irreversible condition causes a loss of bone mass in the jaw. That’s why it’s so important to clean both your teeth and your gums.
The Dentin and Pulp of Your tooth Are Precious and Vulnerable
Beneath the hard exterior of your tooth lies the dentin and pulp. The dentin is a layer of tiny tubes that connect to the pulp of your tooth. The pulp is what houses nerves and blood vessels in the tooth. Your teeth need nutrients, just like any other organ in the body. They receive those nutrients through root canals to the pulp. When bacteria work their way into the dentin and pulp, it will typically cause significant pain for your tooth. In these cases, you’ll likely need root canal therapy and/or serious restorative work to get rid of the bacteria and repair your tooth.
Schedule Your Dentist Appointment at Melrose Dental Arts
Knowing more about the function of your teeth should help you understand why it’s so important to brush and floss regularly. You also need to make biannual visits to your dentist. Dr. Amiri and the Melrose Dental Arts team take an educational approach to dentistry. You’ll feel comfortable and informed after your visit. Schedule your biannual visit at Melrose Dental Arts in Vista, CA by calling 760-724-9117.