Teeth are very similar to trees – only part of them can be seen, with the roots buried underneath. The roots of your teeth grow into your gums and further into your jawbone.
Enamel or crown
The outer layer of your teeth (crown or enamel) is made of hard crystal.
The next layer is dentine which is softer. It make up most of the tooth. It is a bone-like substance. In the roots of your teeth, dentine is covered by cementum.
Cementum is pale yellow with a dull surface and is softer than dentine. Cementum attaches to tiny fibers that help anchor the tooth to the jawbone.
The pulp inside of your tooth contains nerves that conduct sensations of hot, cold and pain. The pulp also contains blood vessels. The pulp’s blood supply provides nutrients that help to keep the tooth alive. Sometimes the pulp becomes infected and isn’t able to provide nutrients to the tooth. Occasionally root canal treatment is necessary to save a tooth that may be needed to be pulled.
The roots are embedded in the tooth socket in the jaw bone.
The front incisor and eye-teeth each have a single root.
Pre-molar teeth (bicuspids) have one or two roots.
The molar teeth can have two or three roots.
Each root has a root canal for the nerves and blood vessels to pass through.
Roots are covered by cementum and held in place by the periodontal ligament.
Gums or gingiva
Gingiva are part of the soft tissue lining of the mouth. They surround the teeth and provide a seal around them. When they are healthy, their colour is usually pink. Changes in colour (redness) or bleeding suggest the possibility of bacterial plaque. The earliest stages of gum disease is called gingivitis. More advanced stages are called periodontitis – where bone-loss and even tooth-loss can occur. Regular teeth cleaning (Periodontal therapy) by a dentist can restore your gum’s health and help to prevent further infection and disease