Abscess Tooth Anatomy
To better understand dental abscess, it helps to understand the anatomy of the teeth.
- Incisors: central and lateral incisors cut the food
- Cuspids or canines cut and tear food
- Pre-molars or bicuspids: shear the food
- Molars: grind the food
Parts of a tooth:
- Crown: The visible portion of a tooth.
- Root: The portion of the tooth embedded in the gum.
- Pulp: Located in the center of the tooth, it contains the arteries, veins, nerves and lymphatic tissue.
Layers of a tooth:
- Dentin: underlies the enamel on the crown and cementum on the root
- Enamel: the outer layer of the crown of the tooth; can be eroded by a cavity
- Cementum: The outer layer of tissue covering the dentin on the root of the tooth
Portions of the tooth that hold it in place:
- Gingiva: the gums are the soft tissues that surround the base of the tooth
- Root canal: The canal in the root of the tooth is where the nerve and blood vessels travel with nutrients to the tooth from the mandible or the maxilla.
- Ligament: The connective tissue that surrounds the root of a tooth and connects it to the maxilla or mandible.
- Bone: Alveolar bone forms tooth socket and part of the teeth.
- Brook I. Microbiology and management of endodontic infections in children. J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2003 Fall;28(1):13-7. 
- Douglass AB, Douglass JM. Common dental emergencies. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Feb 1;67(3):511-6. 
- Preshaw PM. Antibiotics in the treatment of periodontitis. Dent Update. 2004 Oct;31(8):448-50, 453-4, 456. 
- Roberts A. Bacteria in the mouth. Dent Update. 2005 Apr;32(3):134-6, 139-40, 142.