The Anatomy of Human Teeth

May 1, 2022


As you may know, the human tooth consists of many specialized structures that work together to provide optimal oral health for our entire life. But how much do you know about those structures? We’d like to give you a brief anatomy lesson because the more our patients know about their teeth, the better they can understand the importance of good dental health habits. We’ll start with the crown and work our way down to the roots.

The Three Layers of the Dental Crown

The crown is the surface of the tooth that lies just above the gum line, and it consists of three different layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp chamber. Each layer has a specific purpose within the tooth structure, and we’ll take a closer look at each one.


The outermost layer of the tooth is the enamel layer. Tooth enamel mainly consists of inorganic hydroxyapatite crystals, making it the hardest substance in the entire body. However, because it is inorganic and contains no living cells, enamel can’t repair itself from decay or from wear. It’s also incredibly vulnerable to acid. That’s why brushing, flossing, cutting back on acidic foods, and regular dental cleanings are so important!


The next layer of the crown is called dentin, which is very similar to bone. It has more of a yellow color than enamel and there’s more of it in adult teeth than baby teeth. Microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes) run through the dentin so the nerves in the center of the tooth can sense temperature changes. When the enamel erodes, the tubules become exposed, and this causes tooth sensitivity.

The Pulp Chamber

The center of the tooth is called the pulp chamber, where the blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves are contained. The pulp is what makes a tooth alive and is how we feel the temperature from our food or pain when something is wrong. This is why you should never ignore tooth pain and always take it as a warning sign to see a dentist in Colorado Springs!

The Roots of the Teeth

The roots of the teeth descend below the gum line and are anchored in the jawbone. They are also cushioned and held in place by the periodontal membrane between them and the bone. Roots don’t have enamel to protect them, but they are coated in a hard, calcified layer of tissue called cementum. At the tip of each root is a tiny hole through which blood vessels and nerves extend to the pulp chamber.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy From the Roots to the Crowns

Every part of the tooth, from the enamel to the pulp chamber, needs to stay healthy. Maintain twice-daily brushing habits to protect your teeth and gums, and don’t forget to schedule regular dental appointments in Colorado Springs with Esthetic Family Dentistry!The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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