Teeth - Structure, Types, Teeth problems
Know your Body

Give Teeth To Your Health

Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi profile Authored by Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi on 15 Feb 2014 - 16:17.
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." - Phyllis Diller
It can get even powerful with healthy sparkling teeth that's behind a beautiful smile. Let's find out more about this powerful tool called teeth, its structure, functions and how it can be protected from disorders.
Teeth : The teeth are responsible in the act of stab, crush, grind, and slice and chop food in different ways. Their diversity of uses depends upon the type of food we ingest.
Teeth Structure: An Individual tooth is made up of an exposed crown and a root, which is buried in the surrounding gum and jaw. The strongest portion of the tooth is the enamel, which partly covers the crown.
Under the enamel and sometimes exposed to the surface of the enamel is an intermediate layer called dentine. Dentine, though similar to enamel is not as strong as the enamel. The dentine covers an inner pulp cavity filled with pulp. Blood vessels and nerves reach the pulp cavity through a tiny tubular channel called root canal that penetrates the root of the teeth. To make it stronger an additional layer called cementum, covers the root.
As most teeth become mature the root canal gradually closes sealing the pulp cavity. If this happens the teeth are called rooted. The molars are considered rooted. The teeth have three surfaces namely labial, lingual and occlusal. The side closest to the lips is called labial side. The side next to the tongue is called lingual. The occlusal sides are those, which come in close contact with each other in the act of chewing.
Every individual has four basic kinds of teeth namely the incisors, canines, premolars and molars as shown in the illustration below:
Types of Teeth
Pink - Incisors; Yellow - Canines; Blue - Premolars; Dark Pink - Molars 
Incisors: These are the most front teeth. There are 8 incisors in both jaws, four for each jaw and two for each side. Thus we have 2 incisors each on the left and right side of upper jaw and two each on the left and right side of lower jaw totaling to eight. Their main function is to bite and remove layers from certain food materials and take a chunk of an apple. These are the teeth, which normally protrude outside in some persons.
Canines: These are four in number one for each side for each jaw and mostly they join hands with the incisors in the act of biting and stabbing acts. They also play their role in making chunks of an apple.
Premolars: The premolars lie immediately behind the canines. They are eight in number, 2 on each side of each jaw. They are deciduous unlike the molars, which mean they fall off and reappear later as permanent premolars. These teeth play a vital role in combination with the molars in the act of chewing with a mechanism of close contact with their counterparts in the other jaw.
Molars: The most posterior (the last teeth behind the premolars) teeth in the jaws of human beings. As with premolars, they vary tremendously in size, shape, and function. The completion of their eruption is usually delayed until the individual reaches near adult size. They join hands with premolars in the act of chewing.
Dentists normally designate the teeth with a formula, which we call as Dental Formula. Humans have two incisors, one canine, two premolars, and three molars, I 2, C1, P2 & M3, in each quadrant of their upper jaw. The numbers for each quadrant of the lower jaw are the same, and the general formula is written I 2/2 C 1/1 P 2/2 M 3/3. (I, C, P and M stand for Incisor, Canine, Premolar and Molar.)
In children there are two types of teeth called milk teeth which fall of at the age of 7 years and permanent teeth which stay put for the rest of their lives.
Teeth problems : "Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you" -Soupy Sales. All the problems with the teeth, particularly cavities, regardless of normal or abnormal shape of the teeth, arise because of improper care of the mouth and teeth. Go to any dentist with any problem the first thing you are shown and demonstrated is how to brush and clean your teeth. Majority of us know this but few of us follow it.
Eating too much of sugar and sugar products like chocolates, particularly children is the main cause for cavities in the teeth which if not attended to immediately will affect the entire root canal and also the tooth in front and behind the affected tooth. Some people will have pus coming out of the teeth called pyorrhea. Those fond of sweets are supposed to have sweet tooth.
Some will have bleeding gums mainly due to vitamin C & K deficiencies. Some persons have offensive smell from the mouth so much so, people fear to talk with them and the main reason is improper care of the mouth, besides eating obnoxious food items like onions and garlic.
Smoking is the worst enemy of the teeth and the leading cause of cavities in the teeth besides the black discoloration of teeth due to deposits of tar from the cigarettes.
Those who have protruded teeth and mal-aligned teeth which is corrected by applying wire over the teeth and advice regular check-ups for lengthy periods.
Get a periodic dental check up for any defects or infection to treat or prevent any disorders on time.
*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.