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Follow our ongoing series on oral health education! In this round, we are looking at the anatomy of a tooth. Read on, and marvel at the miracle of your tremendous teeth!

If you didn’t know it, as an adult you will have 32 teeth—including your wisdom teeth. The function of each tooth is determined by its distinctive shape and placement in the mouth. While they may do different things, each is made up of the same things.

Crown: What you see of your teeth above the gumline is called the crown. There is an obvious point at which the crown ends and the root begins. The crown is generally whiter and more polished-looking. But, if you can see your tooth roots right now, stop reading and call your dentist for an appointment.

Enamel: The enamel covering on a tooth encases it from tip to gumline. It is a protective coating and made from the strongest mineral tissue that your body is able to produce. It keeps acids from food from damaging teeth, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush. Enamel can be breached by dental decay.

Root: Just like tree roots, your tooth has roots that extend down into the bone of the jaw and upper mandible. The roots also have a protective coating called cementum, but it isn’t nearly as strong as enamel.

Dentin: The first layer past the enamel and cementum on teeth is called dentin. It is a softer, porous tissue that has small tubules or canals that lead into the inner tooth, so if decay reaches the dentin, you are about to get a cavity.

Pulp: The soft center material in a tooth that houses nerves and blood vessels, if infected by decay, you will most-likely need a root canal to clean it out. Then it will be filled and sealed up.

If you’d like more education about the make up of your mouth and teeth, call Dr. Angela Osborn and our helpful team at Angela M. Osborn, DDS, PC. Phone: 303-799-9993, or come by our office in Lone Tree, Colorado.