Getting to Know Your Teeth: The Layers


Teeth: you use them every single day. Do you ever wonder what they’re made of? Do you ever wonder what it is that makes them strong enough to bite through a carrot and chew a tough piece of jerky? The secrets of the teeth are found in the layers that make them up. When it comes to the tooth itself, there are three layers you should know about.


The enamel is probably the most well-known layer of the tooth. It’s certainly the layer that’s most commonly seen. This outermost layer of the tooth is impressively strong, around the same hardness as steel. It provides protection for the underlying layers against cavities and tooth decay. Though strong, it is also very thin and can be demineralized. If that happens, the enamel weakens and wears away, leaving the underlying layers vulnerable. Fortunately, enamel can be re-mineralized if it’s caught soon enough.


Dentin is the middle layer of the tooth. It’s porous and yellowish. Dentin helps provide structure to the tooth, supporting the enamel. It’s not as strong as enamel, so if tooth decay reaches it, the rate of decay will accelerate. Dentin is also a pretty sensitive layer within the tooth. It helps distinguish sensations like hot and cold. Because of this, you’ll likely develop tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods if your enamel wears down enough to expose the dentin underneath.


Pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth. It’s living tissue that helps send signals from the dentin to the brain. The nerves and blood vessels that can be found within the tooth are all found within the pulp of the tooth. It’s the softest layer of the tooth. Thanks to its softness and the presence of the nerves, you will definitely experience some level of pain and discomfort if the pulp is exposed due to tooth decay.

So there you have it. Enamel, dentin, and pulp are the three layers that make up each and every one of your teeth. One last honorable mention: cementum. Cementum is found between the root of the tooth and the gums. It helps anchor the teeth into the jaw bone. It’s also able to repair itself. It all goes to show that your teeth really are an amazing part of your body.

Here at Showtime Smiles, we’re committed to helping you protect the health of your teeth. Request an appointment with us today so we can get yours scheduled as soon as possible.

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