Your Teeth Are Alive!
This may be hard to believe because the part of the tooth that you brush is as hard as stone, but it is true. That hard part is called enamel, and it forms the visible crown or top covering of the tooth. It is the part of the tooth that actually does the chewing of food and is the only part you see.
The part of the tooth directly under the enamel of the crown is called dentine. It is not as hard as enamel and does not contain so many minerals. It is important because it nourishes and supports the enamel of the tooth. In children this layer is not as thick as it is in adults.
If your teeth are not as white as you would like, your problem may be in the dentine. This layer is yellow, rather than white and shows through the translucent enamel layer.
Under the dentine is found the pulp of the tooth. This is the central area which contains the nerve of the tooth. It also provides for the growth or change factor in teeth.
The dentine is surrounded by a layer called cementum. It is a little softer than the dentine. It supports the tooth by providing a connection between the other parts of the tooth and the jawbone. Cementum is found at any place where the tooth meets the jawbone. It is thickest at the bottom of the tooth.
While the term crown describes the visible tooth, the root of the tooth is the part which is found in the jawbone of the mouth. In addition to a layer of surrounding cementum and dentine, it contains the nerves which give reports to the brain about the problems of any tooth. These reports may be felt by you as a sensation first of cold, then of hot, or even of pain.
The earliest and most common damages in teeth are caused by decay of the enamel of the crown. For this reason, you have a good chance of stopping many tooth problems by simply brushing your teeth and making sure there is nothing building up on the enamel which might cause decay.
Your dentist will always help you with your cleanings and may even help you with some decay. Cleaning regularly, cleaning well, and visiting your dentist can prevent many dental problems. It may also help to stop dental problems at an early stage. Other procedures generally stem from an initial problem with decay.
Learning about your teeth can be fun, and brushing your teeth can make a big difference for your teeth. So keep learning and keep brushing!