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The Four Types of Teeth and How They Function

The Four Types of Teeth and How They Function

The teeth are one of the important elements of our body, but most people are guilty of taking them for granted. It is only when something goes wrong do they pay key interest towards oral hygiene. Prevention is better than cure and here are some of the basic elements to brush up on the dental hygiene knowledge.

tooth-typesDevelopment of Teeth

The primary and permanent are the two sets of teeth humans possess, and they could develop only in stages. Even though their timing is varied, the stages of development are similar. Here are interesting facts about teeth development:

  • Teeth comes out in parallel formation; for example, the top molar on the left and right sides grow at the same time.
  • The development of the tooth starts well before they become visible. A baby’s tooth begins in pregnancy during second trimester.
  • The tooth crown is the first element that forms; meanwhile, the roots are developing even after the eruption of the tooth.
  • The primary teeth are already formed by three years of age, and these 20 teeth remain until age 6. They fall out to make way for the permanent teeth.
  • The adult teeth begin to grow between 6 to 12 years of age. Most adults develop 32 prominent teeth.
  • Compared to the primary teeth, the permanent teeth take more time to grow and are also larger.

Parts of the Tooth

The tooth is divided into the crown and the root; the former is the white and visible part of the tooth whereas the latter is not visible. The root goes down towards the gum line and forms the anchor of the tooth. There are four kinds of tissue with different functions. They are:

  • Enamel: Enamel is harder than the bone and it is the substance that protects the tooth crown. It does so by preventing tooth decay, and it is made up of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Dentin: Located below the enamel, Dentin is similar to the bone in terms of looks, while it is not as hard as the enamel. If the enamel wears away, the dentin is prone to decay.
  • Cementum: Acting as a protection to the tooth root, cementum is softer than both the enamel and dentin, but its primary function is to protect the gums. If the gums are exposed through diseases, the cementum may be at the risk of bacteria and harmful plaque.
  • Pulp: Rich with blood vessels, soft tissues, and nerves, Pulp is located in the center of the tooth.

Types of Teeth and Their Functions

Here are the different types of teeth with their functions:

Incisors: The eighth teeth located at the front of the month, and these are used to take the food into the mouth.

Canines: The four canines in the human mouth are used to tearing and ripping the foot apart.

Premolars: These are used to grinding and chewing food. There are eight premolars in the mouth; four on each side.

Molars: These are also used for grinding and chewing food. They first set comes up at six years of age with the second set at 12 years of age.

Third molars: Commonly called as the wisdom teeth, these do not come until the age of 20. Some people may even miss out on the third molars completely.

Since the mouth is an extremely important aspect of the human body, good dental health has to be ensured at all times.

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