Teeth Types and Anatomy
A normal adult has 32 teeth, including eight incisors, eight premolars, eight molars, four canines, and four third molars (wisdom teeth). With the exception of the wisdom teeth, all permanent teeth should erupt before the age of 13.
Maintaining strong, healthy teeth is important care at all ages.
They help us chew, digest food, and speak clearly. They also give our face its unique shape and allow us to smile with confidence. To really understand the importance of teeth and how to properly care for them, it’s necessary to learn about the different types of teeth and their anatomy.
The incisors refer to the group of teeth in the front of the mouth. They are the most visible teeth in the mouth and make a big difference in a person’s appearance. Each person has four incisors on the bottom row and four on the top. The main function of incisors includes biting into food and helping in word pronunciation. The incisors also help support the lip.
The premolars, also known as bicuspids, can be found in front of the molars and behind the canines. There are four on the top row and four on the bottom. Premolars are used to chew and crush food. They can also be effective at tearing. In addition, premolars help maintain the shape of the face, meaning the absence of one or more premolars can alter a person’s appearance. As premolars are exceptionally strong, they can withstand a lot of pressure.
There are four molars located on the top row and four on the bottom. They are located in the far back of the mouth and are primarily used to chew and crush food. Molars are essential for normal eating. As molars are exposed to tremendous pressure on a daily basis, it’s important to protect them through good oral hygiene habits. If you tend to grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a mouthguard while you sleep.
Canines are the sharper, pointed teeth located next to the incisors. They are similar to the incisors as they are used to bite and tear food. Without canines, it can be difficult to eat harder foods, such as vegetables and meats. In addition, canines help guide the mouth closed when a person closes their jaw.
The wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the last adult teeth to erupt. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two on the top and two on the bottom. These are believed to have helped our ancestors chew rough, coarse foods like roots, nuts, leaves, and meats. Today, wisdom teeth are often removed due to the complications they can create, such as pain and repeated infections.
There are four main dental tissues. The enamel, dentin, and cementum are considered hard tissues, while the pulp is the center of the tooth and contains blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves. The following are included in the anatomy of a tooth:
- Enamel – This is the hard calcified tissue that covers the dentin in the crown of a tooth. Enamel does not contain living cells, meaning it cannot repair damage from wear or decay.
- Gums – Also referred to as gingiva, these are soft tissues that cover and protect tooth roots.
- Dentin – Located under the enamel, dentin contains microscopic tubules, or hollow tubes or canals. When dentin begins to lose enamel, these tubules allow cold, heat, and acidity to stimulate the cells and nerves inside the tooth.
- Root Canal – The root canal is the portion of the pulp cavity inside the tooth root. This is the chamber in the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.
- Cementum – This is the hard connective tissue that covers the tooth root and provides an attachment to the periodontal ligament.
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The friendly dental team at Artistic Touch Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients maintain the health and appearance of their teeth. For more information or to schedule a consultation with our Melbourne Florida dentist, contact Artistic Touch Dentistry.