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How Do My Teeth Function? Part 2

See part I of this post here.

There are two parts and four types of tissue that come together to make a tooth. Understanding these parts can help you better understand how they work, and how to care for them.

The first of the two parts of the tooth is the one you can’t see, the root. Their job is to keep the tooth attached to the jawbone, and it does so beneath the gum line. The second part of the tooth is the crown. This is the white part that you see and identify as the tooth.

As for the four types of tissue that teeth are made up of, they are pulp, cementum, dentin and enamel. Cementum’s job is to keep the root covered and help it stick better to the bone. It is light yellow in color, generally not visible because it’s job is below the gum line, and is made of soft tissue. Without proper oral care, this may become exposed if the gums shirk down due to disease. This will require care from your dentist; because it means bacteria and other elements can harm the tissue.

Pulp tissue is where the nerves and blood vessels are, and it is also where the tooth gets all its nutrients delivered. It rests at the center of the tooth.

Outside the pulp is the dentin tissue. While it looks like bone, it isn’t quite as hard as bone. This means without proper oral care it can decay easily if the outer tissue is damaged.

This outer tissue is enamel, which is what we all see when we look at teeth. Enamel is made up of calcium and phosphorus, is tougher than bone, and it’s job it to prevent tooth decay.

Now that we know what teeth are made up of, we can take a look at the different kinds of teeth you have and what their function is.

Starting in the back of the mouth, you have a set of third molars, which are more popularly known as wisdom teeth. While some never actually get a set of third molars, those that do see them come out somewhere between the ages of 18 and 20. Most of the time, your dentist will suggest you remove your molars because they may crowd your other teeth, causing cosmetic issues or possibly more sever ones.

Two sets of premolars are up next, and these are the teeth that allow you to chew your food. These come in on the top and bottom of your mouth, and show up around ten years of age.

Next in line are the canines, which come up top around 9 years of age and on the bottom around 11 or 12. Their function is to tear apart food.

Lastly, we have the incisors that come in at the front and center on the top and bottom of your mouth. These eight teeth have the job of biting your food. They come in before any others, generally around 6 to eight years old.

Now that you understand your teeth and the importance of all of their functions, the importance of your oral health and regular dental visits should be even more apparent. Be sure to keep a healthy diet, manage stress and maintain good dental hygiene habits, and you’ll be sure to keep your pearly whites looking lovely for a long time.