Your teeth are important. Without them, you couldn’t eat and speaking would be difficult. Every year, Americans spend over 1.4 billion dollars on over-the-counter teeth whiteners just so our smiles will look their best. Despite all of this, how much do you really know about your teeth? In today’s blog, your Livonia dentist, Dr. James Stewart, discusses the anatomy of a tooth and explains how you can protect your smile.
The Anatomy of a Tooth
Teeth come in three major layers. First, the surfaces of our teeth are coated in tooth enamel. Did your know tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body? Tooth enamel protects our teeth from the bacteria that cause tooth decay, as well as damage from a lifetime of wear and tear. Beneath the enamel lies the dentin. This layer of tooth structure surrounds the pulp. The pulp is located in the center of your tooth, composed of living tissues and cells known as odontoblasts. Your pulp helps provide your teeth with crucial nutrients, and when the pulp is infected, painful abscesses occur and the tooth can die.
Even though our enamel is strong, bacteria can still permeate it. Sometimes injury, such as a cracked or chipped tooth, allows bacteria to seep through. But most of the time, poor oral hygiene leaves your teeth vulnerable to decay. When we don’t maintain regular dental habits, food particles remain lodged in our teeth. Bacteria break down these particles, increasing the levels of oral acids. Over time, these acids weaken enamel. When bacteria reach the dentin, you may experience toothaches or sensitivity to hot or cold. Once the decay reaches the pulp, the risk of tooth loss elevates. To protect your teeth, brush twice a day and always floss at least once. Try to rinses with an antibacterial mouthwash. These measures help cleanse your mouth of harmful bacteria and food particles. Regular checkups and cleanings also allow Dr. Stewart to watch for the early signs of tooth decay. Early detection helps preserve your smile and keep your teeth healthy and bright.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Livonia Family Dentist
Interested in keeping your smile beautiful and health? Make an appointment with Livonia family dentist Dr. Stewart for a checkup or cleaning today! We provide general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry for the entire family! Contact our 48154 dentist office. Schedule a visit by calling (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, and surrounding areas.