Your teeth seem simple enough. They basic hard, white formations in your mouth that help you chew. Or, they might seem so at first glance. The reality is your teeth are extremely complicated structures that do more than just facilitate eating. They also help you talk and play a big part in how confident a person is in their overall appearance.
The Tooth’s Basic Structure
Let’s start from the outside and work our way in. The outside of the tooth is covered in enamel. The job of enamel is to protect teeth against injuries and anything else that might occur throughout a tooth’s lifetime. Enamel is so strong it can actually be bathed i stomach acid and not break down.
But because enamel is brittle it doesn’t make for a great substance to make an entire tooth out of. As a result, it serves as a helmet that protects the inside of the tooth.
What’s inside a tooth?
Once you get under the enamel you hit structures called dentin tubules. There are literally millions of tubules that run with the root system. Their job is to transport minerals from blood to the tooth’s root. This nourishes your teeth, helps with growth and development, and keeps them healthy throughout your life.
Making your way to the center of the tooth you’ll find pulp, which contains blood vessels, blood cells, and is actually considered a living part of your tooth.
What surrounds a tooth?
A support system called the periodontal ligament can be found around teeth. This membrane makes up your mouth’s immune system and works to protect the inner part of your tooth from the bacteria that live on the outside of a tooth. It also works by absorbing the force that comes from biting and chewing. Without this ligament, chewing would be impossible.
Finally, each tooth is embedded into your jaw bone, which includes blood vessels and lymph. A healthy jaw bone forms a solid foundation for teeth to be rooted into. Without healthy bone, they become loose and eventually fall out.
Your teeth have an immune membrane?
Your tooth’s immune membrane allows minerals like calcium and fluoride to be exchanged and absorbed. Over time teeth can become calcified, which restricts blood flow and can best be described as a tooth trying to do its own root canal. If the immune membrane is intact, then your tooth has a better chance of surviving.
As you can see, your teeth are incredibly complex. This is why it’s so important to take care of them. They’re one of a kind!
The best place to start is by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and getting in to see Dr. Smith for regular exams. He uses each exam as an opportunity to not just clean your teeth, but also make sure there aren’t any underlying problems that might be impacting their health and function.