Understanding Your Teeth


Everyone relies on their teeth each and every day. You use them for eating, chewing, tearing and biting, yet while they are valuable assets to your life, they are also easily damaged, decayed and can cause considerable pain.

It is imperative that everyone understands the structure of their teeth, helping them understand the importance of oral care and how easily damaged their teeth can get, according to Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon in the United Kingdom.

The first thing you will want to know about your teeth is the outer protective layer, which is responsible for keeping the inside of the tooth safe. This is called the enamel and it is the hardest tissue you can find in the human body.

The enamel has a big responsibility when it comes to tooth structure, it protects the inside of each tooth and is made up of calcium crystals. Incorporating calcium into your diet can help promote strong enamel, which is a light yellow to grey in colour. It is important to know that this does not have blood vessels or nerves and therefore cannot be replaced once damaged.

The next thing to understand about your tooth structure is the cementum. Cementum is a very important part of the tooth which is responsible for securing the tooth to the jaw bone, enabling you to chew, bite and tear without your teeth falling out of your mouth.

The Cementum is as strong as bone, but not as strong as the enamel that surrounds the tooth. This particular tissue covers the root, protecting it against periodontal disease, which is a severe form of gum disease. The cementum is a yellow colour and exceptionally hard and strong.

From here you will find the dentin. Dentin is mineralized tissue which can be found directly below the hard enamel layer. This makes up the majority of the tooth structure and is responsible for supporting the enamel. It is also yellow in colour. What many people don’t know is that this is made up of a high number of tubes, which are responsible for transmitting pain.

Then there is the pulp. The dental pulp is soft connective tissues which sit behind the dentin and is made up of nerves. According to Dr Tariq Drabu, the dentin is found in the crown of the tooth and the root and is responsible for nourishing the tooth, transmitting pain and also helps in the formation of dentin.

When you have a cavity, it will slowly eat away at the enamel, making its way into the dentin to the sensitive pulp. If the pulp becomes infected, then there is the risk of having to have a root canal treatment, which is when the dentist removes all the pulp from the tooth to eliminate the pain being experienced.

According to Dr Tariq Drabu, the safest option is to put a good oral health routine in place at home. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is the first effective step. Ensure you brush right before bed and each brushing should be at least two minutes, giving you thirty seconds per side to concentrate on each individual tooth, removing plaque and tartar build-up.

The next step to a good oral health routine at home is to floss at least once a day, floss twice daily if you are suffering from gum disease. Flossing helps you remove plaque and debris from the hard to reach places.

Finally, ensure that you attend your routine dental appointments. This helps the dentist identify any problems early on, reducing the risk of any cavities reaching the sensitive pulp and helping you preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible.

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