What’s inside a tooth?

Discover the different parts of a tooth and learn about their functions.

A tooth is basically made up of two parts: the crown and the root. The crown is what you see when you smile or open your mouth. It’s the part that sits above your gum line. The root is below the gum line. It makes up about 2/3rds of the tooth’s total length.

Four different tissues make up each tooth. The enamel is the durable, white covering. It protects the tooth from the wear and tear of chewing. The dentin supports the enamel on your teeth. It’s a yellow bone-like material that’s softer than enamel and carries some of the nerve fibres that tell you when something is going wrong inside your tooth.

The pulp is the centre of the tooth. It’s a soft tissue that contains blood, lymph vessels and nerves. The pulp is how the tooth receives nourishment and transmits signals to your brain. The cementum is what covers most of the root of the tooth. It helps to attach the tooth to the bones in your jaw. A cushioning layer called the periodontal ligament sits between the cementum and the jawbone. It helps to connect the two.

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