The Structure of a Tooth

Updated at: Jan 17, 2013
The Structure of a Tooth
Dr Poonam Sachdev
Oral Health ConditionsWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Jan 17, 2013

A tooth has crown, root, enamel, dentin, pulp and the gumline

  • Crown: Crown is the part of the teeth that is seen in the mouth. The shape of the crown varies depending on the function of the tooth such as the incisor teeth (front teeth) are sharp and chisel-shaped for cutting, while the back teeth the premolars and molars have flat surfaces for grinding.
  • Gumline: place where the tooth and the gums meet. Plaque and tartar (calculus) can get deposited on the gumline if adequate oral hygiene is not maintained. This can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease).
  • Root: It is part of the tooth that is anchored in jaw bone and keeps the tooth in place.
  • Enamel: It is the outermost and the hardest layer of the tooth. Tooth decay is caused by erosion of tooth enamel by the acids present in the mouth.
  • Dentin: It is present under the enamel. Tooth decay after affecting the enamel damages the dentin.
  • Pulp: Pulp of the tooth is the innermost layer of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. 

What Are the Different Types of Teeth?


Your mouth has different types of tooth and each type of tooth has different function or a specific job.

  • Incisors: These are the front teeth which are sharp, chisel-shaped (four upper, four lower). These are the meant for cutting food.
  • Canines: These teeth have a point (cusps) and help to tear food.
  • Premolars: There are two premolar teeth on each side (2 in the lower jaw and 2 in upper jaw). They are also called the bicuspids as they have two pointed cusps on their biting surface. The help for crushing and tearing.
  • Molars: These teeth help to grind food and have several cusps on the biting surface.




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