Tooth Decay Anatomy
To better understand dental caries, 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.
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