From your head to your toes, you are familiar with the anatomy of your body. If a medical doctor asks you to describe an injury or an illness, you are prepared to point out which regions are affected. When it comes to the mouth and teeth; however, the terminology is less known. This can make it difficult to explain concerns or problems to a dentist and likewise, it can be tough to understand what your dentist is trying to communicate. Explore the anatomy of your teeth:
The Visible Anatomy of Your Teeth
When you open your mouth, you are greeted with visible teeth on your upper and lower jaw. The areas that you can see are only a fraction of the makeup of your tooth, as much of a tooth’s anatomy is hidden. To start, there are the gums. This is the pink-colored tissue that surrounds the teeth. The most noticeable component of a tooth to the naked eye is known as the crown. The crown simply refers to the top of the tooth or the portion that sticks out of the gum. This is the area that you brush and the part that shows when you smile. Another visible portion is the enamel. The enamel is essentially like a shell that covers the crown of the tooth and aids in protecting the inner layers.
The Inner Layers of a Tooth
Teeth are much more complex than they appear from the outside. Underneath the enamel lies the dentin, a tissue that contains several tube-like structures. When dentin is exposed as the enamel wears down, it can cause sensitivity to heat and cold. It provides structure to the tooth and protects the pulp of the tooth that lays inside. The pulp of a tooth is commonly referred to as the nerve of the tooth. It contains blood vessels, nerves and tissue. All of these components are anchored in place by the root of the tooth which connects to the bone.
Terms for Specific Teeth
Other terms you may hear when visiting a dentist refer to specific teeth. For instance, the term “molar” refers to the flat-shaped teeth in the very back of the mouth. Wisdom teeth, the teeth that emerge around age 18 (if not surgically removed) fall into this category as well and are sometimes referred to as the third set of molars. The two teeth that lie directly in front of the molars are simply called premolars, while the pointed teeth in the front of the mouth are canines. The four teeth situated in the center of the mouth on the top and the bottom are called incisors. Understanding these terms can make a visit to your local Dallas dentist less stressful and confusing.
Learn More About Dental Care Options
Interested in learning more about dental care options in Dallas? Dentists are highly educated on the anatomy of teeth and how to treat any problems that you may experience. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Content found on this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional judgement, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please speak with a professional if you have concerns about your oral health.