While teeth-related ailments are fairly common amongst us, few people make a point of understanding the anatomy of their teeth. However, it is important to understand your teeth, its structure, development and the classification of the variety of teeth that human have.

By understanding the structure of teeth, the function of the various teeth and the vulnerability of teeth, you will have a better understanding of the how best to take care of your teeth. You will also understand what causes some of the dental ailments. The end-result is having better oral hygiene for an all-rounded healthy life.

The variety of teeth is made up of four different types of teeth. These include;

The Incisors

An adult human has four incisors in the upper jaw as well as in the lower jaw. The primary function of the teeth is to cut or shear food, and thus their placement. They are the most visible teeth as they are located on the front end of the mouth for easier accessibility to food and, therefore, easier cutting of food.

The Canines

They are also known as cuspids. These are the teeth that separate the premolars and the incisors. Due to their shape, they are able to perform, ideally, a dual role by complementing the incisors and the premolar. Since they have a single cusp, they are able to grind and cut food. However, their primary role is to tear food. For instance, they provide the ability to tear meat from bones.

Premolars

Premolars are known as bicuspids. They are located in between canines and the molars. Premolars are used active chewing. The premolar next to the canine is shaped as a small incisor, which supplements the functions of the incisors.

Molars

These are the most posterior teeth in the arrangement of teeth in humans. Their primary and only role is to grind food, reducing it to small pieces that are easy to digest as well as easy to swallow. To this end, molar have several cusps to provide ample surface to grind the food.

The emergence of molars is progressive as one age. In this regard, the first molars emerge between the ages six and seven. The second molars emerge between the ages of 11 and thirteen. The final one (third molar), popularly known as the ‘wisdom teeth’, emerge between the ages of 17 and 21 years.

The Structure Of Teeth

Despite the differences in shapes, all the above types of share one fundamental structure.

The Crown

This is the outermost surface that we visually see. It is covered with a very tough substance known as the enamel. The enamel layer is the most mineralized tissue in the human body.

The Dentine Layer

This is the second layer and occurs below the crown. It is made of mineralized conjunctive tissue.

The Pulp

This is the third layer of teeth. It is made of soft tissue that contain all the blood vessels and nerves that are required to keep teeth alive.

Although teeth are very tough, they are very fragile and are very susceptible to bacterial attacks due to cavities. If the cavities continue unchecked, they attack the dentine and finally the pulp layer, thus affecting the entire health of the tooth.