The Hard Tissues of the Tooth
This section will deal with the important hard tissues of the tooth, which is pretty much most of the tooth itself. Each of these tissues serves an distinct and important function and each of these tissues break down in different ways when they are damaged.
Okay, so now you are going to see what I hope is a familiar image - a typical chart displaying the cross section of a tooth. We have been shown this images for what seems an eternity. But I guarantee that you will never see it the same old way again. We are going to go far deeper into these structures than you have ever explored before. The beauty, they say, is in the details
The Tooth Itself...
On the left is what we see when we look at our own teeth. Beautiful, shiny, pearl-like objects that seem to emerge from the pink tissue we call "gingiva," more commonly known as "gums."
But there is so much more than meets the eye here. What you see exposed in the mouth is only about one third of your tooth, a structure we call the "crown" portion of the tooth. The rest of the tooth is actually embedded in the jawbone and called the "root" of the tooth.
The proportion of crown to root is very important. For the purposes of chewing, there should be about two thirds of the tooth in the sterile, biologically sealed attachment within the bone and only about one third of the tooth exposed in the fairly hostile oral environment itself.
"Hostile" you may be asking?
I don't know what else to call the mouth. Think about it. It gets hot, it gets cold, it gets invaded with sharp objects, hard objects, acids, and it has a constant population of what can be very destructive bacteria that grows and "infects" the mouth 24/7.
Now lets take a closer look at this organ we call the tooth and discover what it is made of, and how the different hard structures of the tooth stay healthy or break down.
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