Hello, Florida! Here at Panama City Smiles, we make it our mission to keep the people of Panama City, FL informed on matters of oral health, so you are better prepared to exercise effective preventive care.
It is wonderful to know how to brush and floss your teeth properly, but to truly understand the importance of oral health, you need to understand how your teeth work.
The Layers of Your Tooth
The whole of your tooth can be separated into two distinct parts, the crown and the root. The crown is the part you are certainly familiar with because it is the part you see everytime you smile in the mirror. If you’re lucky, you will never see the roots of your teeth, since they are completely secured into your gums and jaw.
The crown of your tooth is made up of layers, not unlike a jawbreaker, each layer serving to protect the blood vessels and nerves at the center of the tooth.
Enamel – This, the outer layer of your tooth, is made up of a variety of mineral, which makes it the strongest substance in your body. Your enamel is partly translucent, which means light passes through it. So your enamel has very little influence on the color of your teeth. It is the second layer that determines that.
Dentin – This layer makes up the bulk of your tooth. It also determines the color of your teeth, which should have a gray or yellow tint, and not be pure white. Dentin is similar to bone, but stronger. It is filled with tiny tubes that go straight through to the center of your tooth. So if the acid produced by tooth decay erodes your enamel, you could experience pain and sensitivity.
Pulp – This is the soft fleshy mass of connective tissue can be found at the center of your tooth, and it filled with tiny blood vessels and nerve endings. The pulp is the lifeforce of the tooth. If the bacteria responsible for tooth decay gets past the first two layers of of protection, the vitality of your tooth is at risk.
If your pulp becomes infected, a root canal may save your tooth, but if the infection is too far gone, then extraction may be necessary to protect the rest of your teeth. Infect and tooth decay spreads easily from tooth to tooth, and here at Panama City Smiles, we want to keep that from happening. That is why we emphasize the importance of preventive care and oral hygiene to protect your oral health.
Cementum – Your root is not protected by enamel, but since it is not exposed to the dangers inside the mouth, it does not need this protection. Instead, the root is focused on anchoring your tooth into your jaw, and that is what cementum does.
Cementum is thin material very similar to bone. It is covered by a membrane of gum tissue that connects the root of your tooth to the jawbone.
Your Teeth and What They Do
Incisor – These are your front teeth. You are probably most familiar with these teeth because they are front and center when you smile. These chisel shaped teeth are essential for eating because they cut your food as you bite.
Your incisors are also necessary for clear speech. Several consonant sounds are made by pressing your tongue against the back of your front teeth. So if those teeth are missing, your speech will most definitely be affected.
Cuspid – Also known as canines due to their resemblance to a dog’s fang, these four teeth reside on either side of your incisors, where they assist in chewing by tearing food. Your cuspids are also prominent when you smile, so losing one will affect your appearance.
Bicuspid – These teeth have two points, or cusps, hence the name bicuspid. They are also called premolars because these eight teeth are the transition from front teeth to back. Bicuspids are used for crushing and tearing your food and are sometimes visible when you smile. So loses one could change the way you look.
Molar – The eight teeth in the back of your mouth are called molars and they are used for grinding the food you chew, making sure it is an easily digestible pulp by the time it gets to your stomach.
Visit Our Office in Panama City
Now that you know the function of all your teeth, you know how important it is to hang on to them as long as possible. Panama City Smiles will provide you with the top notch preventive dental care that will keep you smiling for years to come.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.