Provided by Colgate
What Are the Different Parts of a Tooth?
the top part of the tooth, and the only part you can normally see. The
shape of the crown determines the tooth's function. For example, front
teeth are sharp and chisel-shaped for cutting, while molars have flat
surfaces for grinding.
- Gumline: where the
tooth and the gums meet. Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque
and tartar can build up at the gumline, leading to gingivitis and gum
- Root: the part of the tooth that is embedded in bone. The root makes up about two-thirds of the tooth and holds the tooth in place.
the outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest, most
mineralized tissue in the body - yet it can be damaged by decay if
teeth are not cared for properly.
the layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay is able to progress
its way through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin - where millions
of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp.
the soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve
tissue and blood vessels are. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you
usually feel pain.
What Are the Different Types of Teeth?
Every tooth has a specific job or function (Use the dental arch in this section to locate and identify each type of tooth):
Illustration created by Michael Becker
- Incisors: the sharp, chisel-shaped front teeth (four upper, four lower) used for cutting food.
- Canines: sometimes called cuspids, these teeth are shaped like points (or cusps) and are used for tearing food.
these teeth have two pointed cusps on their biting surface and are
sometimes referred to as bicuspids. The premolars are for crushing and
- Molars: used for grinding, these teeth have several cusps on the biting surface.