The Anatomy Of Your Teeth

When you smile at your face in the mirror, the first thing you see is a standing henge of teeth standing in a pink gummy hill. Looking at these seemingly impenetrable structures, you may not realize that your teeth are more than just their hard outer shell. Beneath that resilient layer of enamel lays the rest of a complex organ that lets you smile, talk, and eat with ease. These organs, your teeth, have three distinct layers and a number of features that define them. Come with us and learn how your teeth are so much more than just a shimmering white wall of enamel.

Teeth Have Layers… Like An Onion

Or like a parfait, if you prefer. Each of the three distinct layers of your teeth serves its purpose, creating a versatile organ that can serve you for a lifetime.


  • Enamel – Star of the show, shining white frontman of your stunning smile, is enamel. Being the hardest substance in the human body, the enamel is fully capable of crunching, chewing, and mashing your favorite foods without falling to pieces.
  • Dentin – Every star needs their backup crew, and for enamel, that’s dentin. Dentin is a porous underlayer that, while being much softer than enamel, also serves to give it flexibility. In addition, it provides sensation to your tooth with the help of the pulp.
  • Pulp – Deep within your tooth lies its beating heart. It is made of a gelatinous tissue that contains blood vessels and nerve endings, and it’s literally the life of your tooth. It’s also the most vulnerable to infection and is the source of dental sensitivity and pain when decay takes hold.

These three layers help keep your teeth strong and healthy when properly cared for. When trauma or dental hygiene allows bacteria and decay to set in, things can quickly go awry. Once the enamel is compromised, you may begin to experience dental sensitivity or even severe pain.

The Physical Features of Your Teeth

In addition to having multiple layers, there are also different structures that make up your tooth. The first and most prominent is the crown. This part of your tooth includes the visible portion that stands above the gum line. Beneath that, descending into the gums and jawbone, are the root of the tooth. Unlike the enamel that coats the crown, roots are covered with a special material known as cementum that connects it to the periodontal ligament. At the point where the root becomes the crown at the gum line can be found the ‘neck’ of the tooth.

Want to know more about the structures that make up your smile? Dr. Alireza Movassaghi believes that dental education is one of the most important parts of promoting good dental health. Patients at Alvarado Family Dental Center have the opportunity to work with a friendly staff that’s always willing to answer questions. Just contact our office today to schedule an appointment at our offices in Alvarado, CA, to start learning more about your teeth and oral health!

Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Dr. Alireza Movassaghi brings 30 years of experience to the practice at Alvarado Family Dental Center. As a graduate of the USC School of Dentistry, he works tirelessly to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. Along with his passion for expert dental care, he exhibits a love of soccer and beautiful cars.
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