As much as your teeth seem to resemble the other parts of your skeletal system, they are made up of entirely different substances than your bones are. To truly understand how tooth decay affects our teeth, we need to understand their four separate, distinctive layers that make them up and give them the title of hardest part of the human body.
These 4 layers are:
This hard, outer layer protects the portion of the tooth that extends above the gumlines. It can develop cavities, be cracked or chipped. Enamel is mostly made out of calcium phosphate, which is a very hard mineral.
The layer just underneath enamel is called dentin and comprises the majority of your tooth structure. Dentin is naturally yellow in color. As enamel is semi-transparent, your teeth show a natural hue based on the color of your dentin. This layer decays at a much quicker rate than enamel.
Dental nerves are made of pulpal tissue that extend through the center of the crown and down through the canal in the middle of the root. This soft tissue center of your tooth contains the blood vessels, arteries and nerves that keep your tooth alive and connects to your jaw bone. If you’re feeling pain from a tooth, it comes from this layer.
This connective tissue covers the roots of your teeth and anchors them into your jawbone. It is extremely thin, and can be worn away during aggressive toothbrushing.
There’s so much more to your tooth than just the surface that’s visible. Your regular dental visits will ensure the health of all parts of your teeth from the roots up, so you’ll know that even down to the deepest layers, your teeth are healthy and fully functioning.