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A Guide to the Anatomy of Teeth

A Guide to the Anatomy of Teeth

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Your teeth are the hardest substance in your body and they must endure a lifetime of heavy use, and if you have ever wondered about the composition of your molars and incisors, here is a detailed breakdown of what our teeth actually consist of.

The Outer Enamel

Tooth enamel is primarily made from calcium phosphate, a rock-hard mineral that is designed to protect the teeth. This outer layer of enamel can be eroded by sugary substances which cause the enamel to decay, which is why it is important to regularly brush and floss your teeth. By visiting your regular dentist Sydney, any signs of tooth decay will quickly become apparent and steps can be taken.


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This layer sits just under the outer tooth enamel and is a hard tissue that contains many microscopic tubes, and should the tooth enamel coating be compromised, this can cause pain and sensitivity when drinking or eating hot or cold things. There are special toothpastes that can relieve this pain, which many people suffer from, and your local dentist can make recommendations for suitable treatment.


The Pulp

This is the soft, living tissue part of your teeth, with blood vessels and nerves that run through the pulp. This is what causes the ache in toothache and when this tissue dies, the tooth will begin the slow process of shedding itself.



This is the connecting tissue that holds the teeth to the gums along the jawline, while binding the roots of the teeth to the jaw bone. Ask any dentist and they will confirm that the cementum is what secures the teeth to the gums and is therefore very important.

Periodontal Ligaments

These help to bind the teeth to the gums by giving an extra layer of tension by adjoining the cementum with the jaw bone. The periodontal ligaments also act like a shock absorber, reducing the tension on the jaw bone when biting down hard on something, while pain sensors are also found within the tissue of the periodontal ligaments. There is also a nutritive function, as the ligaments are well vascularised, providing essential nutrients for the gums.

Types of Teeth

We all have a total of eight incisors – the middle four teeth of both upper and lower jaw – with four pointed canines, one on each side of the incisors, while our premolars total eight, located in between the canines and molars, and finally, four wisdom teeth which erupt at around the age of 18 and are often removed to facilitate correct tooth development. The 32 teeth we have do need to be regularly examined by a dentist, and should there be any issues, prompt treatment will limit the damage.

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Preventative dentistry promotes good oral health, and spare a thought for your teeth, as they allow you to digest your food. There are many natural enemies for the teeth and by adopting best oral hygiene practices, you can ensure that your teeth and gums are always in good condition. If you have recently moved and don’t yet have a regular dentist, a Google search will bring up a list of local clinics, and you can register and make regular visits.

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