Teeth are one of the most important body parts because they help us eat and speak. Teeth are composed of dentin, cementum, enamel, and pulp. Dentin is the tough, fibrous material that lines the inside of your teeth. The enamel on your teeth is the outer layer that protects them from decay. The pulp is a soft tissue that contains blood vessels and nerves that supply nutrients and sensory information to your teeth.
Composition of Teeth
Teeth are made up of several layers of both hard and soft tissue. Enamel, dentin, and cementum are the harder parts of the tooth, whereas pulp is the softer part.
It refers to the outer layer of your teeth. This layer protects your teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. Its thickness varies depending on where it is on the tooth. The section region of the molars and premolars is the thickest. The tooth’s neck has the thinnest enamel.
The color of enamel varies from yellow to greyish white and reflects the degree of mineralization and staining on tooth surfaces.
Composition of Enamel
Enamel is formed by ameloblast cells and is the hardest substance in the human body due to the high percentage of mineral salts in crystalline form.
It is made up of 95% to 98% inorganic and 1% organic substances, with water accounting for 1% to 4% of the total.
Calcium and phosphate ions are the most common inorganic substances. These elements combine to form a high-strength hydroxyapatite crystal, allowing the enamel to sustain a hard structure.
The organic substance in teeth is primarily made up of enamelin proteins.
In enamel, the organic and inorganic components, as well as water, are organized systematically. Long, thin enamel rods form as a result of a well-organized structure. These enamel rods range in diameter from 4 to 8 µm and number from 5 to 12 million per tooth. The enamelins surround them, and the space between each rod is known as interrod enamel or cement.
Dentin is protected at the outer layer by enamel. It contributes to the bulk and overall shape of the tooth structure. Dentin is a living tissue made up of small tubules called dentinal tubules. Moreover, these tubules can be found in the pulp and at the cementoenamel junction (the connection between the enamel and the cementum).
Odontoblasts are the cells that form dentin. Despite its calcification, dentin is slightly compressible and elastic. Dentin can detect hot and cold sensations from food and drink because it is a living tissue. It is the reason for feeling sensations on your teeth when you eat something hot or cold.
Dentin is yellow in color and is composed of 70% inorganic and 30% organic matter. Dentin’s inorganic component is similar to enamel in that it contains calcium and phosphate ions. The hydroxyapatite crystals found in dentin, on the other hand, are smaller in size than those found in enamel. Dentin is softer than enamel due to this size variation.
A bone-like substance called cementum encircles the tooth root. It serves as a bridge between the tooth and the bone that surrounds it. At the cementoenamel juncture, the cementum joins the enamel.
The cementum is made up of 55% organic compounds and 45% inorganic compounds. However, the organic component of cementum is primarily composed of Type I collagen and protein polysaccharides. Calcium and phosphate ions dominate the inorganic portion.
The pulp is the teeth’s innermost structure. The pulp contains a dense network of blood vessels and nerves that aid in the preservation of tooth vitality. Coronal pulp refers to pulp found in the outer layer, whereas radicular pulp refers to pulp found in the inner layer.
Neurons, fibroblasts, macrophages, and vascular tissue are also found in the pulp. It is a living, soft portion of the tooth that contains dentin-forming cells known as odontoblasts.
Teeth are composed of a variety of materials, including enamel, dentin, and pulp. The enamel is the hardest and most protective layer of teeth. The dentin is the layer beneath the enamel and provides structural support. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. However, all of these structures collectively result in the making of teeth.
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