If you’ve read the posts on our Austin dental blog you’ve probably read a lot about teeth. But it’s one thing to be told that you have to take care of something, sometimes it takes a good understanding of the basics to understand why.
Developmental Stages of Teeth
Humans have two sets of teeth, the primary, or baby teeth, and the permanent teeth. You first develop primary teeth and then, as you continue to develop and grow, you lose the primaries and grow your adult teeth.
A surprising fact about developing teeth is that the actual development begins a lot sooner than when your first tooth becomes visible. An infant human’s first tooth appears at about six months but the development of teeth starts as early as the second trimester of pregnancy.
By about age three, the twenty primary teeth are in place and remain roughly until the age of six when they of course begin to fall out and make way for the adult teeth.
Parts of the tooth
Most adults end up with 32 permanent teeth. The tooth itself is made up of four different types of tissue.
The first is enamel, that’s the visible substance that covers the crown, or visible part of the tooth. The enamel is the white part of the tooth. The enamel is actually harder than your bones and protects the tooth from decay.
Then there’s the dentin. It’s calcified and closely resembles bone. It’s what your enamel protects and is under a great deal of risk should your enamel decay.
The third layer is cementum, which covers the tooth root and helps anchor or cement it to the bone, hence the name, cementum. It’s also covered by the gums. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to maintain good healthy gums.
And lastly you have the pulp, which is at the center of the tooth. It contains blood vessels, nerves and all of the soft fissure in the tooth. It delivers signals to the tooth and nutrients to keep the whole thing healthy and pain-free.
So now you know the very basics of the makeup of the human tooth. Come in or make appointment with Austin cosmetic dentist Dr. Dan Matthews today to learn more about how to maintain your teeth or to learn about any other dental subjects you may have questions about.