For a beautiful and healthy smile, it’s important for you to maintain a good dental routine. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist every six months. From your teeth to your jaw bone, we’ll be taking a closer look at the different parts of your mouth.


Tooth in lens of magnifying glass


Today, we will look at the 3 layers of a tooth. The more you understand about your teeth, the easier it will be to take care of them.


Why is it Important to Know About Teeth?

Your teeth are an important part of your body. They help you chew food into pieces small enough to swallow. They also help you form words and speak properly. Of course, beautiful teeth also result in a beautiful smile.


Understanding the tooth and what helps keep it strong will help you better care for all your teeth.


First Layer: Enamel

The outer layer of your tooth is called enamel. This hard, translucent shell is actually the hardest tissue in your body.


Enamel covers and protects the crown of the tooth, which is the part of the tooth you can see outside your gums.


This outer layer is responsible for protecting your teeth from chewing, biting, crunching, and grinding, and from extreme temperatures.


Illustration of the anatomy of a tooth


Plaque is constantly forming a film on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque feed on the sugars in the foods you eat, producing harmful acid that breaks down your enamel. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings help fight plaque.


If you don’t regularly remove plaque, tooth decay can occur, resulting in cavities. A hole develops in the tooth, spreading into the next two layers of your tooth if the decay goes untreated.


Second Layer: Dentin

The second layer of your tooth, dentin, is a softer layer of calcified tissue. The dentin in a tooth has thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the pulp, which contains nerves.


When enamel breaks down and your dentin is exposed, sweet, hot, and cold foods have a direct path to the tooth’s nerves. This results in the pain and extra sensitivity you feel.


Because enamel is translucent, dentin is the layer responsible for the color of your teeth. When you whiten your teeth, you’re brightening the layer of enamel, not changing the color of your teeth.


Third Layer: Pulp

The nerves, arteries, and veins of each tooth are housed in the inner layer called pulp.


If tooth decay (cavity) reaches the pulp of your tooth, you will experience extreme pain and sensitivity. You will need either a root canal (to remove the infected pulp) to salvage the tooth or a tooth extraction if the damage is too severe.


Dentist man examining young woman's teeth with dental hygienist woman writing on clipboard in background


It’s crucial to maintain a good dental health routine to keep your enamel, and therefore your teeth, strong and healthy. A professional dental cleaning every six months is also important because dentists have the tools to remove plaque in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. These cleanings also allow your dentist to check your mouth for other oral health issues.


For more information or to schedule a dental appointment, contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe in Sugar Land, Texas. We are committed to providing you and your family with excellent dental care.