You can only see one part of your whole tooth, which is called the crown. The crown is attached to root that is placed in the jaw bone. Some teeth have more than one root, such as the teeth in the back (molars have more than one root).
What is the structure of your tooth?
Every single tooth has the outer layer (covering the crown), that we can see and we call it ENAMEL. Enamel is the hardest part of a human body, even harder than bone. However enamel is brittle, which means that if you use your teeth to bite on hard things it may chip off.
The second layer of a tooth is called DENTIN. We can not usually see dentin because it is covered with enamel.
The third layer of a tooth is called PULP.
What is inside the Pulp?
The pulp is composed of 75% water and 25% is other material, such as:
- Vessels that brings blood to and from the tooth.
- Nerves that allow us to feel pain if the tooth is broken or if we have decay.
- Many different cells that help the function of the tooth.
Pulp extends from the crown part of the tooth into the roots like a pipe. This pipe allows the blood supply and nerves to go into the tooth.
As we get older the pulp shrinks and becomes smaller. This means that the dentin layer becomes thicker. That is why if younger children have deep decay there is more possibility to need a root canal treatment than older people. This means that the decay reaches the pulp faster in younger people because the pulp is bigger and dentin is thinner. In older people there is a thicker layer of dentin so decays needs to be larger to reach the pulp.
Dr. Roushanak Shafaghi