Your teeth are pretty amazing – they can last you for a lifetime of chewing! But what are they like inside that hard white surface? And what does that have to do with your chewing?
Technically, you are looking at the crown, though most of us just call it a tooth.
Its hard white surface is the enamel, and that’s what your Dentist Epping wants you to look after by brushing and flossing daily, so it can last for your full life. Modern implants are spectacular but not as good as your original teeth.
Enamel has some rather special properties. It’s the hardest thing in our bodies, which is great for chewing and protecting what is inside the tooth. We’re used to being able to feel pain in various parts of our bodies, but we don’t feel it in the enamel as it has no nerve endings. When you think about it, that makes sense, given all the chewing the enamel must survive. It can be damaged, though, as anyone knows who’s seen a chipped tooth or decay – however, unlike our skin, it cannot repair itself.
Inside the enamel is a soft, yellowish layer called dentine. This is where the pain comes from if you have extensive tooth decay, a drilled cavity or sensitive teeth, as dentine is full of nerve fibres housed in minuscule tubes.
Below the gum line, each tooth has one or more roots embedding it into the jawbone to stabilise it for all that chewing. Upper molars usually have three roots, lower molars, two; premolars, one or two; and incisors and canines, one each.
Soft tissue called dental pulp runs down through each root’s centre. Its nerves and blood vessels connect the tooth to the nerves and blood vessels in the surrounding jawbone to keep the tooth alive.
The dentine of each tooth root is surrounded by soft tissue fibres, periodontal ligaments, to firmly anchor the root into the jawbone.
Amazing what’s in a simple tooth, isn’t it – and your Dentist Epping agrees too!
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