Back to School: The Anatomy of Your Teeth?

woman pointing at her teeth smiling

With summer ending and students heading back to school, it’s an excellent opportunity to review the anatomy of your teeth. Your teeth play an integral role in your oral anatomy and digestive system because of their useful function and contribution to the overall aesthetic appearance of your face. To learn about your teeth’s anatomy, read on and schedule an appointment with our talented general dentistry/dentists located in Basking Ridge & Morristown, NJ, to receive proper care.

What are the different types of teeth?

Often, people are unaware of the various types of teeth in their mouths and their crucial functions. All of your teeth work together to break down food into smaller pieces to facilitate the process of swallowing. Humans have four types of permanent teeth in their mouths:

  • Incisors: An incisor is a narrow-edged tooth at the front of the mouth. Incisors have adapted for cutting to crush foods, making them easier to swallow. Most people have four incisors on the upper jaw and four on the lower. These include your front two teeth and the teeth on either side of them.
  • Canines: These are the four sharper, pointed teeth on each side of the incisors. They are similar to incisors. They are located on each quadrant: upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left. Canine teeth are called so because they bear a resemblance to dog fangs.
  • Premolars: These teeth are also referred to as bicuspid. They sit between your canines and the teeth in the back of your mouth. They also help you tear and grind food into smaller pieces to make it easier for consumption.
  • Molars: These are the teeth in the very back of your mouth, which are predominately used for chewing. In most adults’ mouths, there are 12 molars, three in each quadrant. Your molar teeth include your wisdom teeth.

Now that you understand the different types of teeth, we can move on to the anatomy of a tooth, which includes the crown and root. A crown is the part of your tooth that is visible. It is the portion above your gums. The root is the part you cannot see as your gums cover it. The root anchors your tooth to your jaw. Your teeth are made of four layers: enamel, dentin, cementum, and tooth pulp.

The enamel is the protective outer layer of each tooth. The primary function of the enamel is to shield your teeth from harmful bacteria. Dentin is the layer underneath the enamel that protects the nerves. The cementum is the layer that protects your tooth root. It is attached to the periodontal ligament, which helps connect your tooth to your jaw. Finally, the tooth pulp is the innermost layer of your tooth. It keeps your tooth alive and protects the nerves, blood vessels, special cells, and connective tissues.

As you can see, your teeth play an integral role in your oral health. Therefore, you should schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable dental professionals at Dental Associates of Basking Ridge. Our team is prepared to assist you in improving your oral hygiene.

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