What are Teeth Made of?

Wondering what your pearly whites are made of? Understanding the anatomy of your teeth can better help you understand how to take care of them! Here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry, we really value patient education, so we’re hoping this post can help you better understand the inner workings of your oral health.


The outermost layer of your tooth is called the ‘enamel’. Enamel is a hard tissue, tougher than bone, in fact. It protect the softer inner layers of your teeth from bacteria and decay. Enamel can be worn down by grinding or excessive amounts of acid and/or sugar. That’s why taking care of your teeth and gums are so important! By taking care of the outer layer of your teeth, you ensure that the inner layers are protected.


The next layer inside your tooth is called the dentin. Dentin is a slightly porous hard tissue that makes up most of the mass of a tooth. It provides additional protection to the inner layers of your tooth, but is also more susceptible to decay than the enamel is.


Cementum is the layer of the tooth that helps it stay in place! Cementum covers the roots of teeth and protects the nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissues that connect the tooth to the rest of your body. Cementum is firm, but stretchy so it can grow around and in between other tissues of your tooth and jawbone.


The pulp of your tooth is the inner most layer, and is comprised of soft, sensitive tissues like nerves and blood vessels. Once decay reaches this layer of the tooth, a root canal or extraction is often needed. If this layer of the tooth dies, then the entire tooth is dead, and it must be removed. Think of pulp as the heart of your tooth!

Call your dentist in West Columbia for a preventive appointment.

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