Anatomy of a Tooth

A tooth helps the owner to break down food through cutting and crushing into them while preparing that food to be swallowed and then digested. Human body has four types of the teeth and they are morals, premolars, canine and incisors.

The tooth is comprised of the enamel, dentin, and pulp

The exposed root of the tooth can lead to dental sensitivity

Tooth pain can start if the cavity is large and close to the pulp of the tooth

Teeth can be saved with dental fillings, crowns, and root canals

Anatomy of a Tooth

The purpose of a tooth is to help break down food through cutting and masticating into small pieces to aid in digestion. The human body has four types of the teeth and they are molars, premolars, canines and incisors.  Each one has a specific reason and function. Incisors can cut the food, while canine can tear, and the molars along with the premolars can crush the food. The root portion of a tooth is embedded within the jawbone specifically the maxilla for the upper jaw and within mandible for the lower jaw. They are all under the gum tissue, however, they can appear from bone loss due to periodontitis or recession.  The development of a tooth is comprised of many tissues and ulimately fuse together to become dense – enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body.

A tooth is a long lasting and distinctive feature of a human and other mammal species. Humans are known as diphyodont which means that they have two different sets of teeth. The first set of teeth are known as primary, deciduous, milk or baby set. Generally they start  appearing at six months, however, in some occasions babies can form with visible teeth and this is what it is called natal teeth. Normal eruption of the teeth is called teething and it may be painful.

A study that had been dedicated to study tooth anatomy is known as dental anatomy. The appearance, development and also the classification of the teeth is found in this category.  However, contact found between the teeth and the dental occlusion is not in the study.

A human body grows 20 primary teeth and afterwards, we generally get 32 permanent teeth. Teeth can be classified like molars, premolars, canines and incisors. Incisors’ function is to bite a piece from foods like apple or carrots.  Molars function is meant to grind the food when they are cut in the bite size piece within the mouth.The teeth are unique so they can be distinguished easily.

Parts of a tooth

Enamel is a hardest part found on a tooth and it is highly mineralized substance. It is a  major tissue form that makes up the tooth together with dental pulp, cementum, and dentin. The enamel is the white visible crown portion of a tooth, and it has to be supported by the dentin found underneath. At least ninety six percent of enamel is made up with minerals and other organic materials and water makes up the remaining four percent.  A normal color for the enamel can be between grayish white and light yellow. Because enamel is normally semi-translucent while the dentin material or dentin color will be more visible or yellow in color.

The mineral content which is at high levels in the enamel is called hydroxyapatite and it is specifically crystalline calcium phosphate. If there is a higher level of the minerals in the enamel, this will increase its brittleness and strength. If the dentin has a low level of mineral, then it will not be brittle, this is to compensate for the mineral in the enamel and give the tooth flexibility. Contrary to the bone or dentin, enamel does not have collagen.  The proteins that help with the enamel development are tuftelins, enamelins, amelogenins and ameloblastins.  It is noted that they help with the enamel development since they serve as framework supports in this process of maturation.


Dentin is a tube-like form of the substance found between pulp chamber and enamel. It is formed by odontoblasts which is made up in the dental pulp.

Dentin is compromised of mineralized connective tissue and it has an organic matrix of  collagenous proteins. Dentin contains microscopic channels known as dentinal tubules and it radiates outward through dentin of the pulp cavity to the enamel border and exterior cementum. Even if there are tiny side branches, the tubules will not intersect with one another. How long they are, it will be based on the radius or size of a tooth. There are three dimensional configurations for dentinal tubules and they are determined by a person’s genetics.


Cementum is a certain bone substance and it covers the tooth.  It is around forty five percent of the inorganic material, thirty three percent of organic material and twenty two percent is water. Cementum is from cementoblasts found in a tooth’s root and it is thickest at the apex of the root. It has a yellow coloration and it is softer compared to enamel and dentin.  The role of cementum is to act like the medium for which periodontal ligaments may attach to ensure stability for the tooth.

Dental pulp

A dental pulp plays a role like a heart of the tooth and it is full of the soft connective tissue. The tissue has blood vessels and the nerves which enter in a tooth from its hole into the root’s apex.  The pulp has also other cells which are T lymphocytes, macrophages, odontoblasts and fibroblasts.  A pulp is also known as tooth nerve tissue.

Structures that support a tooth

Periodontium is the first structure that supports the tooth and it helps it to attach on the surrounding tissue and it allows sensation of pressure and touch. It is made up of gingiva, alveolar bone, periodontal ligaments and cementum.

The periodontal ligament is specialized connective tissues that work by attaching a cementum of the tooth to the alveolar bone. The tissue is covering the root of a tooth in its bone so that it can support a tooth and resorption and formation of the bone during the eruption, sensation and movement of the tooth.

Alveolar bone is the bone at the jaw and it makes up the alveolus on the teeth.  As it happens with other types of the bone within the human body, this bone will be modified in its life cycle.

Gingiva also called the gums is a mucosal tissue which is found over the jaw. It is found in three types; there is a sulcular, junctional and gingival epithelium. The three makeup epithelial cells called epithelial cuff found between a mouth and a tooth.  Gingival epithelium is not associated at once with the tooth attachment and it is more visible within a mouth. Junctional epithelium is made up with hemidesmosomes and basal lamina which makes the attachment of a tooth. This sulcular epithelium works like a nonkeratinized stratified squamous tissue at the gingiva but it is not attached on a tooth.