The Different Types Of Teeth And The Roles They Play

The Different Types Of Teeth And The Roles They Play

What do you know about your teeth? A St John’s Wood dentist explains more….

The different teeth in your mouth have different jobs, all of which are very important. They help you eat, digest, speak and contribute to your overall health.

Many people probably don’t spend a second thought thinking about their teeth beyond brushing and buying new toothpaste and new toothbrushes.

All of this becomes rather routine so we aren’t really thinking about it too much when we do that. How many times have you been planning what to have for lunch; what to wear for work; what to watch at the cinema later – all whilst cleaning your teeth? We do tend to take our teeth for granted, usually until something goes wrong. But they are so important, it is never a bad thing to understand them better.

Growing Teeth

Humans grow one set of teeth starting at about 6 months old. We call these baby teeth or primary teeth and they are pushed out by our adult teeth which are permanent. Both teeth sets develop in a similar way. They erupt at the same time as their opposing tooth in the mouth and they actually start to develop way before you can see them.

A baby’s tooth pops out at around 6 months but that tooth will have been developing as early as the second trimester of pregnancy! The crown grows first, followed by the root which carries on developing even after the tooth shows. All 20 baby teeth have usually come out by the time we are 3 and we start to lose them at about 6. Between 6 and 12 we usually have all 32 of our adult teeth.

Tooth Structure

One tooth will have two parts, the crown and the root. The crown is the bit you can see, the root is the bit you can’t see and it’s the root which attaches the tooth to the bone. The tooth itself is made of 4 different types of material. Enamel, which you can see and which covers the crown, is harder than bone which stops the tooth from going rotten. Dentin which lies underneath enamel, is not as hard as enamel and decays about 7 times faster. Cementum which is the tissue that protects the root of the tooth and helps cement it to the bone, is softer than both enamel and dentin. Pulp is what lies right in the core of your tooth and has the sensitive nerves, blood and other important tissues. It is the ‘control centre’ of the tooth.

Tooth Roles

All teeth help you grind down your food, helping you digest it. Teeth types differ because they all have slightly different job roles. Incisors are the 8 teeth right at the front of the mouth (8 above and 8 below) and these are used to bite your food and tend to be the first to appear. Your canines are the four sharpest teeth in the mouth and are used for tearing food. Premolars are your chewing and grinding teeth and molars are used for the same thing. We also have third molars (wisdom teeth) which don’t erupt in all people.

Ensure Your Teeth Stay Healthy With Abbey Road Dental, St John’s Wood

It should go without saying that your teeth are extremely important. To keep them happy and healthy, please maintain good oral hygiene habits, eat a healthy diet, avoid bad habits, and come and see us at Abbey Road Dental regularly for checkups. Please call us on 02076241603 and we will be pleased to book you in.

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