What Are Teeth Made Of?

closeup of a woman's teeth

Have you ever thought about what your teeth are made of? Here, we’ll give you a rundown of what’s inside your pearly whites.

Teeth

But first, let’s discuss what exactly is inside your mouth. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth, meaning the teeth that come in after you’ve lost your baby teeth. The middlemost four teeth on your upper and lower jaws are called the incisors and there are 8 in total. Next are the 4 canines, the pointed teeth that are next to the incisors on both the upper and lower jaws. Then there are the 8 premolars which are the teeth that are in between the canines and molars on the upper and lower jaws. Next are the molars, which are the 8 flat teeth in the back of the mouth that are used to grind up your food. Last are your 4 wisdom teeth all the way in the back. These are usually removed after they’ve erupted in order to prevent them from displacing other teeth.

Now onto what’s inside your teeth.

Enamel

The first layer of your tooth is called the enamel. It is the hardest part of your tooth and made of calcium phosphate. It acts as the first line of defense against any dental issues such as cavities. Acid can weaken the enamel and lead to tooth decay.

Dentin

Dentin is the next layer and is hard tissue that contains microscopic tubes. It’s more delicate than your enamel and if that outer layer is weakened, cold and heat can reach the dentin and cause tooth sensitivity. Naturally yellow in color, if your enamel has thinned out, the dentin layer can show through and cause your teeth to look discolored.

Pulp

The next layer is called the pulp. This is the soft, living inner structure of the tooth, considered living because connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels run through the pulp to nourish the tooth. The pulp has two parts: the pulp chamber, located in the crown of the tooth, and the root canal, located in the root of the tooth. Blood vessels and nerves enter the root and go through the canal into the pulp chamber.

Cementum

The cementum is the next layer, and is composed of connective tissue that covers the outside of the root under the gum line. Cementum is hard as bone and firmly binds the roots of the teeth to the gums and jawbone.

Periodontal ligament

The last part of your tooth is called the periodontal ligament. This is a tissue that holds the teeth against the jaw.

We Care About Your Teeth!

We care about your teeth and overall oral health. If you have any other questions about the composition of your teeth, any oral health concerns, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!