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For this on-going series of educational blogs, we are going to point out the internal anatomy of a tooth.

Crown: Taking a look at your teeth, the crown is everything that can be seen above the gumline. The function of the tooth is determined by its shape and placement in the mouth. The typical adult has a total of 32 teeth—including wisdom teeth.

Enamel: The enamel is the hardest substance (tissue) known in the human body and a protective covering on a tooth. It extends from the tip to the gumline.

Root: Anchoring the tooth, the tooth root extends deep into the bone of the jaw and upper mandible. Roots are two-thirds of the entire length of a tooth.

Cementum: Taking its cue from enamel, cementum is the protective covering of a tooth’s root, although weaker and much less dense, it does its best to shield the root from decay. Receding gumlines can expose the tooth root, so take care.

Dentin: The first layer of a tooth underneath enamel or cementum. It is a porous material with microscopic canals that lead directly into the tooth’s pulpy center.

Pulp: The soft material encasing the tooth’s blood vessels and nerve system. Once decay has entered in and infected the pulp, you will feel a toothache and need a root canal to clean out and fill the space.

If you’d like more education about the make up of your mouth and teeth, call Dr. Wendy Haefner and our helpful team at iSmile Mathis Ferry Dentistry. Phone: 843-884-1215, or come by our office in Mount Pleasant, SC.