1117 North Saginaw Street, Holly, MI 48442


Get Familiar With Your Teeth!

  • July 12, 2015

Here at Holly Dental Care, we are dedicated to keeping the smiles of Holly, MI safe, and making sure you are well informed is one of the best ways to do that.

Your Teeth and What They Do

Incisor – Positioned front and center, your incisors are your front teeth. They are the most visible teeth in your mouth; therefore, they are the most important teeth for a beautiful smile. But that is by no means their only function. Your eight incisors, four on the top, four on the bottom, are also essential for biting and cutting food. Without these teeth, eating would be very difficult.

Your front teeth are also important because you use them to make several consonant sounds. So your speech will be drastically affected if you were to lose these teeth.

Cuspid – You may be more familiar with these teeth by their other name, canine. You have a total of four cuspids that flank your incisors. This tooth gets its name because it has one point, or cusp. It is sometimes called a canine because it resembles a dog’s fang.

These teeth also hold a prominent position in the front of your mouth, so they are essential for your smile. Their main function for chewing is the hold and tear the food you are eating.

Bicuspid – Moving towards the back of your mouth, you come next to the bicuspid, or premolar. The bicuspid has two points, or cusps, which is how it gets its name. They can be seen when you smile, but they are not particularly prominent. Nevertheless, losing one of these teeth will definitely affect your smile.

Your bicuspids smash and grind your food when you chew, so eating healthy foods that are high in protein and fiber depends on these teeth.

Molar – Your back teeth are typically not visible unless you have an especially wide smile. This does mean your molars have no effect on your appearance. Your jaw depends on the roots of your teeth to support its bone density, so if your back teeth come out, you can lose bone mass in your jaw. This can change the shape of your face, making you look older.

Just like your bicuspids, molars are essential for chewing healthy foods. They grinds your food into an easily digestible mush, so losing molars could affect your digestive health as much as your oral.

The Layers of Your Tooth

Enamel – This, your enamel, is the outer protective layer that covers the top part, or crown, of your tooth. Although it is incredibly strong, even stronger than bone, enamel is still vulnerable to injury and decay.

Dentin – The second layer of your tooth is nearly as hard as enamel, but it is very porous. Your dentin filled with channels and canals for air and liquid to get through if they can make it past the enamel. This will usually happen only as a result a fractured tooth or a deep cavity.

Pulp – This soft and fleshy material lies at the center of your tooth. The pulp of your tooth contains tiny blood vessels and nerve endings. So if tooth decay makes it through the two outer layers of your tooth all the way to the pulp, you are experiencing a serious oral health ailment.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, and if that bacteria gets to the center of your tooth, it can cause an infection that will kill the nerve ending and spread into your bloodstream via the blood vessels.

Cementum – The root of your tooth is not covered by enamel or dentin. It does not need that much protection because it is not exposed to the outside elements of your mouth. It is encased completely in your gums and jawbone. Therefore, your root is covered only with a thin layer of material called cementum.

Cementum, which is much like bone secured to your gums by a thin membrane of gum tissue. As you can see, the main function of your root is to anchor the rest of your tooth in place. Which is why the root of your tooth makes up two-thirds of the entirety of your tooth.

Since your root is not protected by enamel, gum disease is a real threat to it. Gum disease often causes your gum tissue to recede away from your tooth, sometimes exposing the exterior of the root. Cementum is not designed to protect your tooth from decay, so cavities can form quickly, giving the bacteria a direct line to your pulp.

Come to Our Office in Holly, MI

Let the experts here at Holly Dental Care help protect your smile from tooth decay.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


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