Human Tooth Structure
Human tooth (plural form is “teeth”) is a calcified and hard structure found in the mouths or jaws of many vertebrates and generally used to chewing of foods into smaller pieces. Teeth are very special to us among all important organs in human anatomy. The teeth are the hardest forms in our body and plays a very major role while chewing, in speech, in our daily life. Carnivores like some animals also use their teeth for hunting or defensive purposes. Without it, we can’t even think for one day. We human have Diphyodont meaning our teeth generated two times in life. There are two types of teeth –
Milk Teeth (20 teeth)
If we divide our total upper and lower jaws into 4 parts we can find mainly 4 types of the tooth in each part (counted from middle divider to right or left side) –
- Incisors (2 teeth)
- Canines (1 tooth)
- Premolars (0 teeth) – Infants does not have any premolar teeth
- Molars (2 teeth) – 3rd Molar (also known as Wisdom Tooth) teeth do not exist in infants
Permanent Teeth (32 teeth)
Here in case of an adult, we can find 32 numbers of teeth. Each of the 4 parts has the following teeth configuration –
- Incisors (2 teeth)
- Canines (1 tooth)
- Premolars (2 teeth)
- Molars (3 teeth)
Types of Human Tooth, Various Parts and Their Importance
The teeth are the hardest form in our human body. The roots of teeth are firmly implanted in the bone and covered by gums to provide strong attachment to jaws and for stabilization. Not only for the processing of foods but teeth also play a major role in speech. So, let’s have a look at various structural parts of the teeth:
- Enamel – Enamel is basically made of a rock-hard mineral called calcium phosphate. It is the outer and white-colored part covering our teeth crown that we can visualize easily as it erupts through the gums.
- Dentin – Dentin is a layer underlying the white-colored enamel. This hard tissue has many microscopic tubes and during cavity condition when some temperature change occurs or any food-particle touches, it can cause sensitivity issues or pain.
- Pulp and Pulp Chamber – The dental pulp is the softer and living inner structure in our teeth’s pulp chamber. It includes coronal pulp of crown and radicular pulp of root. Various nerves and blood vessels run and connected to each other using this dental pulp.
- Tooth Root – If we divided out tooth in 3 equal parts the approximately lower 2 parts makes tooth root. These are generally covered with a thin layer of bone and as a whole deeply inserted in the jaw bone and thus serve to keep teeth aligned and protect from movement.
- Cementum – Cementum is connective tissue and a specialized calcified substantial layer that covers and binds the roots of teeth firmly with the gums and jawbones.
- Periodontal Ligament – Periodontal Ligament is a tissue that holds roots of our teeth very tightly with the jaw and provides strengths while food processing.
We can find 4 Incisors teeth at the front of the mouth and in the middlemost on the upper and lower jaws of an adult human especially in most mammals (but counts are different). In the case of young children may have from 0 to 8 incisors depending on their age and their tooth eruption and tooth development speed. The word Incisors came from the Latin “incidere” which means “to cut”. Incisors are a narrow-edged tooth especially for cutting foods into pieces. In humans, there are 2 types of 4 incisors in each jaw (lower and upper). These are also known as different names to identify each pair from another –
- Mandibular Central Incisor (in the lower jaw, 2 teeth in exactly center position)
- Mandibular Lateral Incisor (in the lower jaw, 2 teeth besides the mandibular central incisors)
- Maxillary Central Incisor (in the upper jaw, 2 teeth in exactly center position)
- Maxillary Lateral Incisor (in the upper jaw, 2 teeth besides the maxillary central incisor)
In the mammals, Canine teeth are attached outside the Incisors. These teeth are relatively long and can be easily identified by their appearance as it often the largest tooth. However, in some mammals canines can be flattened and similar to incisors with some extra length and thus be called incisiform. Generally, canines are used to hold the large food piece firmly and make ease for incisors to tear into parts. Occasionally some animals use them as their primary weapons to bite deeper and impact more on the enemy. In humans, there are 2 teeth in each jaw.
- Mandibular Canines (in the lower jaw, 2 teeth in outside 4 incisors)
- Maxillary Canines (in the upper jaw, 2 teeth in outside 4 incisors)
Premolars are permanent teeth found between Molars in the inside ends and canine in the front. These are also known as bicuspids and unlike Incisors and Canines, Premolars have a flat biting surface and mixes appearances from both Molar and Canines teeth anatomy and structure. Thus they are also called transitional teeth.
Their main functions are to cut, crush and move food particles from front sections (Canines) to Molars grinding, chewing or mastication purpose. There is a total of 8 premolars in adult human in which 4 are in the lower arch and 4 are in the upper arch. In children (milk teeth configuration) there are no premolars.
Molar teeth include the largest flat biting surface among all of the teeth. They appear in the inside parts of both subsections in both jaws. First Molars erupt approximately at the age of 6 years but it will take time approx next 6-7 years for the second Molars emerging. Molar teeth help us to final phase crushing, grinding and chewing food after Incisors, Canines and Premolars operation. There are in total of 12 molars (including 3rd Molar or Wisdom Teeth) in adult and 8 molars in children.
Wisdom Teeth or Third Molars
We generally know the third Molars as Wisdom Teeth. In human dental structure, they generally emerge lastly and fully grow around the age of 18 and 25 years. Most of the cases due to insufficient space required by its eruption it partially or no at all erupted. Thus cause various dental problems ranging from gum infection to damaging all other teeth. Due to low space and it pushes to erupt can cause severe teeth alignment issues. To prevent its a good choice to surgically remove it from the mouth. An adult human has in total of 4 Wisdom Teeth.
Human Tooth – Some Important Facts
Here are some curious and essential facts regarding our dental structure, functional differences, determining and prevent from future possible complications.
How do you know if you have Wisdom Teeth or not?
In general, most people have wisdom teeth but it is also very common for some people who have some or no wisdom teeth developed. More than 4 wisdom teeth can also be seen in some cases. There is no guarantee that wisdom teeth will be visible from outside as some are impacted or not erupted through the gums and stays in gingival tissue.
If you want to know whether you have Wisdom Teeth or not you must go through some examination mentioned below:
- By examining the mouth if you find three permanent molars in each dental quadrant then you have Wisdom Teeth.
- Most wisdom teeth erupt through the gum or gingiva in the early adulthood stage (typically between 18 to 25 age) and you can feel some pain, uneasiness, or dull throbbing in the back of the jaws for some days.
- You can check with some dentists or specialists whether you have Wisdom Teeth or not. Dentists will check and tell whether you have one or a radiograph is necessary for determining.
- However, in that case, if the tooth is impacted under the gum a radiograph (preferably X-Ray) is very helpful in determining the eruption angle and development process. According to tho this radiograph dentists guide you throughout the development and prevent from unwanted dental complications.
Distinguish between a Premolar and a Molar
Premolars are very similar to first and second molars, but considerably smaller in shape and size. Molar teeth have 4 points or cusps while in case of Premolars only has 2 cusps. This is why Premolars are known as bicuspids.
In both cases, there are teeth pits and fissures between their cusps but its depth-level is different. Molars have deeper traps than Premolars and more difficult to keep it clean and free from plaque and bacteria-lead cavities.
Generally, premolars have 1-2 roots firmly implanted in the bone for strong attachment and stabilization. Usually upper or maxillary premolars have 1 root and lower or mandibular premolars have 2 roots (single root is also possible). But in case of Molars have minimum 2 roots (upper or maxillary molars have 3 roots in general).
Molars and Premolars configuration in kids
Baby teeth or deciduous teeth don’t have any premolars in their dental configuration. In that case, you will not find any bicuspids rather you may find first molars in the place of premolars. Then after those teeth fall out premolars erupt and replace so-called first molars.
How Incisors, Canines, Premolars, and Molars work together
When a large and strong food particle we put in mouth first of all Incisors cuts it into many pieces while canines bite the food and strongly grab to ease and not to slip the food while cutting. Then premolars break those pieces further and pass food particles from canines to molars. In final stage largest teeth molars grind, clench, chew thoroughly so that we can easily swallow it without choking. Molars are designed and intended to provide great pressure on foods which helps our digestive system to get energy, vitamins, minerals like essentials things out of the eaten food.
Various Dental or Teeth Complications and Problems
Human Tooth Decay or Cavity Formation
Details – Tooth decay or cavity may occur due to various reasons. Here we will discuss not only cavity on Wisdom Tooth but also for all teeth. When the cavity one develops day by day it decays more and started pain when food particles get into our teeth and develop bacterial infections. Decay may develop on any tooth surface whenever dental plaque stuck and remain for longer period of time which gradually develops bacteria which makes acid to melt out teeth’s enamel (crown part).
Why Wisdom Teeth Case is more Difficult – Whenever this cavity develops especially on wisdom tooth which is 3rd molar teeth is very difficult, or sometimes even impossible to clean which draws higher risk for cavity formation. Most of the cases wisdom teeth are either misaligned (erupted but crooked) or only partially erupted (only some part erupted from the gums). Our brush and floss are generally unable to properly clean up those sections and end up with the cavity and its very common phenomenon.
Plaque and Debris can also be Accumulated underneath the Gum Line – Whenever we have partially erupted tooth and some portion of the tooth crown is under gum line then plaque is very common to be stored in this underneath area and makes a proper environment of bacterial colonization.
This happens as this space is full of partially underneath the gum lines it cant be accessed and washed through brush and floss. Food particles gradually stored and give birth to bacterias which ultimately cause tooth decay and infections.
The Impacted Human Tooth may also Damage the Associated Teeth
Once bacterial colonization and cavity develop on any tooth especially wisdom tooth and space between adjacent teeth is minimal. Those teeth may not easy to clean and gradually cavity forms. In case of wisdom tooth, it generally doesn’t erupt with maintaining the other teeth alignment. This pushes the nearby teeth (due to the shortage of eruption space) and damage on the nearby tooth (2nd molar).
According to medical science, wisdom teeth is not so important compared to 2nd molar. In this world, a large percentage of people can live well without 3rd molar with no issues at all. But when due to impaction, cavity, and infections 2nd molar also to be extracted with 3rd molar. This is surely a tragedy to us as it has a very important role in our daily food processing.
Human Tooth Complications Remedies, When to Visit a Dentist and What Steps to Follow
As of we seems familiar to various tooth complications. Now its time to discuss What, How and When to do things before its getting too late.
When to Visit a Dentist
Here are some points when you should go, check and consult with a dentist to recover and heal from various dental complications. The dentist will help you and suggest what precautions and surgical procedure to operate.
- When you find some hole like a cavity in any of your teeth
- When you find your tooth is changing its color and this discoloration not going away after brushing and flossing well for weeks
- If you feel any type of pain, infections or uneasiness in dental structure (teeth, gum and in associated areas)
- If any of your teeth weakens and pain when touched
- When you find any infection developed in the gum area
- When your wisdom tooth has partially erupted and you are unable to clean it well
Human Tooth Extraction
If Repair Not Possible – In the worst-case scenario when wisdom tooth or any other teeth are badly impacted, major decay, in an inaccessible location, cannot be repaired then it must be extracted. In case neighboring teeth are also impacted due to other tooth’s bacterial infection both teeth to be extracted. If there is nerve tissue death due to advanced decay then extraction or root canal procedure to require.
According to Future Thoughts – Even if in some cases where a dental filling could be efficiently possible but the tooth (especially the wisdom tooth) still not possible to keep clean using toothbrush and floss. In those scenarios, looking to the future possible outlook dentist might suggest you for tooth removal over restoring it.
If Recurrent Decay Develops – Recurrent decay means when after dental filling a new cavity is forming in the adjacent area of that filling. In this case, the dentist knows the future problems and feels extraction of that tooth. Below are some points related to this scenario.
- Advanced decay can cause much pain and swelling
- New decay formation makes it more difficult to repair and extraction
- Extraction costs you one time where repairing may cost you much and it is a recurring process
- The dentist can also offer replacement teeth or duplicate teeth to serve its purpose
In case You Don’t Want Dental Filling Approach – In case you teeth especially wisdom teeth are fully erupted and aligned with others but small cavity issue appears and touched with behind gum area which is prone to cause more cavities. You may prefer tooth extraction rather than tooth filling because you don’t want to regularly put effort to keep it plaque-free and thus dental filling will not serve in the long term.
Human Tooth Dental Filling
Depending on the conditions and scenario there may some possibility of repairing decayed tooth available. Here are those conditions and scenarios –
Where Dental Filling Works Efficiently – If a cavity has formed in any tooth including wisdom tooth it’s also possible to repair that through the dental filling. This procedure helps efficiently if the cavity is relatively small and formed in a very accessible location.
May Be You Don’t Wanna Lose Any Tooth? – In case you want all of 32 teeth that god have given to you and if your teeth including wisdom teeth are well aligned with others and fully erupted. Then dental filling can serve your desires and makes you keep smiling.