Wedgewood Dental

Understanding the Anatomy of Your Teeth

Understanding the Anatomy of Your Teeth

Teeth have an essential role in life. Everything from eating your favorite foods to flashing your smile depends on your teeth feeling and looking their best. To help keep your teeth in good condition through maintaining oral hygiene, understanding tooth anatomy is vital. In this article, we’ll look at the structure of teeth, as well as each part’s different functions.

The Three Layers that make Tooth Structure

Teeth are formed of three layers. These are:

1. Tooth Enamel
Enamel is a protective shield made up of minerals that creates the surface of a tooth. It also gives it a white appearance. Enamel helps protect the teeth from damage caused by chewing, as well as being a first defense against acid.

2. Dentin
Dentin is the layer that lies behind the enamel. It is a hard substance that creates much of the tooth structure. It is less dense than enamel and is made up of microscopic tubes that connect to the tooth’s pulp chamber.

The function of dentin is to support the enamel, as well as carry sensations such as heat, cold and pressure to the nerve of the pulp chamber.

3. Pulp
The central part of a tooth is the pulp. This houses nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels. Its purpose is to nourish the tooth during the growing process in childhood, as well as sensing changes in temperature and pressure. If a tooth is damaged, it is the pulp that creates the sensation of pain.

The Parts of a Tooth Explained

As well as the three primary layers, each tooth has distinct parts. These are as follows:

1. Crown: The part of the tooth you can see sitting on top of the gum.

2. Root: The part of the tooth that sits below the gum line, and is not visible. The roots hold the tooth within the gum, keeping it from moving easily.

3. Neck: The point at which the crown and root meet.

4. Pulp Chamber: A hollow area in the center of the tooth, where the pulp is located.

5. Root Canal: Inside the roots are narrow canals that contain blood vessels and nerves.

Understanding Tooth Function

We have different kinds of teeth in our mouths. Their shape and size are designed for a particular purpose:

1. Incisors: These are positioned at the forefront of the mouth. Their thin shape makes them excellent at slicing through food.

2. Canines: These are the longer, pointed teeth that also help to tear food.

3. Premolars: At the mid-section of the mouth, you will find premolars. These have both pointed and flat surfaces that work to grind up food.

4. Molars: At the back of the mouth sit the molars. These teeth have larger flat surfaces for heavy-duty grinding.

The Path to Excellent Oral Health

A solid understanding of tooth anatomy helps you know what to do to maintain your oral health. Through daily brushing and flossing, as well as frequent dental check-ups, you can protect your tooth enamel and prevent problems occurring deeper into the teeth.

Keeping teeth in good condition is not just about functionality, it also boosts your confidence and is key to overall well-being. For more advice on dental health, feel free to get in touch with your trusted dentist in Rolla!


713 Salem Avenue Suite A, Rolla MO 65401

Office Hours

MON 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

TUE Closed

WED - THU 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

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Phone: (573) 368-7325


1116 S. Main Street, Salem MO 65560

Office Hours

MON Closed

TUE 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

WED - THU Closed

FRI 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch


Phone: (573) 729-7701