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The Anatomy of Teeth

Posted in Dental Care, Dental Surgery, General Dentistry, and Pediatric Dental

The Anatomy of Teeth and Their Purpose

Lined up like a platoon of soldiers, our teeth, the hardest material in your body, do more than just look good. The anatomy of teeth make speech possible or at least divers and distinct. The variety of tooth shape and size makes chewing easy, weather its steak or salad. And your hard and soft pallet flexes and moves with your gums to help you swallow and create suction and pressure. Your teeth are the first step in the digestion process and will last a lifetime if you look after them.    

Baby Teeth

As an embryo your first set of teeth develop while you are still in the womb. Your jaw took its initial shape forming around your teeth not yet exposed. Making your first words understandable. Most of us started with 20 primary baby teeth (10 top, 10 bottom) all of which are usually present and accounted for before your third birthday. If you are a new parent you can start watching for central incisors to come first (6-12 months) then slowly they start appearing methodically from the center to the outside.

The anatomy of teeth
The Anatomy of Baby Teeth

Specific Purposes

Our baby teeth (depicted above) are eventually replaced with 32 permanent adult teeth. (16 top, 16 bottom) The different shaped teeth in our mouths are designed for specific purposes. There are four types or classes of teeth. As adults we have 8 Incisors, 4 Canines, 8 Premolars, and 12 Molars (including 4 wisdom teeth) Our incisors slice or cut our food. Canine teeth puncture and hold food in place. Premolars have slightly raised cusps that act like a conveyor belt guiding food to the molars for additional chewing. Molar’s chew, grind, and hold food in place while it’s broken down further.

Wisdom Teeth (Last 4 Molars)

The last four largest molars erupt between the ages of 18 to 25, these are wisdom teeth. Sometimes these teeth grow in sideways and only partly erupt, or don’t come through at all. When this happens, they are called impacted wisdom teeth. Most dental clinics don’t perform dental surgeries to address issues like impacted wisdom teeth. This summer Erbsville Dental will be equipped to handle this type of dental surgery and more in-house. Watch for more information about this in upcoming posts.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.