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What are teeth made of?

When we're kids it's probably easy to believe that teeth are just hunks of white hard stuff that helps us chew our food. The first time you experience sensitivity in your teeth or chip a tooth biting something hard is the first time you probably think about the fact that teeth are made up of more than just bone. So what are teeth made of? What causes the sensitivity and why does it hurt when a chip or a crack occurs? Below we will answer these questions and more.

Parts of the Teeth

The teeth are made up of four different parts, each one playing an important role in the function of our mouths.

Pulp: This is also known as the endodontium. This part of the tooth is at the very center, and it is responsible for most of the pain you feel when your teeth are effected. The pulp is made up of tissue and cells. The pulp is a part of the next item on the list, the dentin. The two parts of the pulp are known as the pulp chamber and the root canal. Blood vessels and nerves go through the pulp via the root canal and up through the pulp chamber at the top.

Dentin: This is what surrounding the pulp. It is yellowish in color, and since it makes up most of the substance of your teeth it is why they often appear off-white or yellow. This is the second hardest part of your teeth, but not as hard as the enamel that surrounds it.

Enamel: This is the hardest substance that comprises your teeth. It is often what most people think of when they consider what teeth are made of, but it is really only a small part. It has an important job, however, as it helps you chew hard things and allows you to withstand temperature changes. It also protects the inside of your teeth from bacteria. The enamel is clear, but this is the substance that becomes stained, which is why it sometimes requires bleaching.

Cementum: Last but not least, cementum is the reason why your teeth stay affixed to your jawbone. Of course the root plays an important part, but cementum is as hard as bone and it covers the outside of the root so your teeth stay stable. The cementum is part of the pariodontium, which is why your teeth can fall out if your gums become too infected with bacteria.

If you are worried about any part of your teeth, Lowry Dental can perform mouth examinations. Our team would love to help you with any teeth problems you may be having. We can go over our possible procedures choices and help you determine which one is best for you. Contact our dentist team in Boise today to schedule your appointment and get started on your journey toward a brighter, healthier smile!


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