What are Your Teeth Made Of?

petersen_anatomy_of_teeth

Let’s start with a little quiz for all our teeth-wise Las Cruces residents…

Q: Teeth are harder than:

  • A) Gold
  • B) Human Bone
  • C) Steel
  • D) All of the above

Yep, you guessed it, the answer is D! Teeth are the hardest substance in your body. While not considered bones, they are both made of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals, However, Bones mostly consist of collagen and are much more flexible. Also, not all parts of a tooth are all that hard. Here’s a breakdown of the different components of a tooth:

Enamel –

This one you may know about. It is the exterior of the tooth and the hardest. It is made primarily of the mineral calcium phosphate. It is vital that you keep your enamel in good health. If a tooth’s enamel should wear away, you would be at serious risk for decay.

Cementum –

The connective tissue that makes sure your teeth roots are fixed to your gums and jawbone. The root is covered with this thin layer, both of which are protected by your gums. That’s why it is important to prevent gingivitis, which can expose these parts of the tooth and eventually lead to more serious problems.

Dentin –

Another hard layer of the tooth, Dentin is beneath the enamel and is calcified tissue harder than bone. Dentin contains living cells that help transmit both nutrition – and pain – through the tooth.

Pulp –

This is the only soft part of the tooth and is located at the very middle. This living structure contains blood vessels and nerves.

If you have additional questions about how to maintain healthy teeth and gums, contact Las Cruces Dental Solutionsfor an appointment.