Parts of the tooth

A tooth is basically made up of two parts: the crown and the root. The crown is what you see when you smile or open your mouth. It's the part that sits above your gum line. The root is below the gum line. It makes up about 2/3rds of the tooth's total length.

Four different tissues make up each tooth. The enamel is the white covering. Enamel protects the tooth from the wear and tear of chewing.

Dental Fact: Did you know that the enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body?

Dentin supports the enamel on your teeth. It's a yellow bone-like material that is softer than enamel and carries some of the nerve fibers that tell you when something is going wrong inside your tooth.

The Pulp is the centre part of the tooth. It is a soft tissue that contains blood and lymph vessels, and nerves. The pulp is how the tooth receives nourishment and transmits signals to your brain.

Cementum is what covers most of the root of the tooth. It helps attach the tooth to the bones in your jaw. A cushioning layer called the Periodontal Ligament sits between the cementum and the jawbone. It helps to connect the two.

Gum Problems:

Even if you brush your teeth constantly, you may still have bad breath. This may be attributed to gum disease also known as periodontal (pronounced: per-ee-oh-don-tul) disease.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues and the bone that support the teeth. Untreated gum disease can become very serious, causing teeth to become loose or fall out.

Gum disease is usually caused by a build-up of plaque, an invisible sticky layer of germs that forms naturally on the teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce toxins that irritate and damage the gums.

Hundreds of types of bacteria live in the mouth, so keeping plaque at bay is a constant battle. That's why brushing and flossing every day - and regular trips to the dentist - are so important. Regular dental scaling is required for removal of tartar and stains from your teeth surface to keep them healthy and shiny .

Prevention Tips

Fortunately, there is good news: Gum disease is usually preventable. Just take care of your teeth, starting now. Don't wait!

Brush twice a day for at least 3 minutes each time (about the length of your favorite song), and floss daily. If you're not sure whether you're brushing or flossing properly, your dentist or dental hygienist can show you the best techniques. Always brush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride; some dentists also recommend daily mouth rinses containing fluoride.Use a toothbrush with soft, polished bristles, as these are less likely to irritate or injure gum tissue. Be sure to replace your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months - a worn-out toothbrush can injure your gums. (Some toothbrush brands contain color indicators on the bristles to remind you to replace them when they wear out.)Eat a healthy diet. Avoid snacks and junk food packed with sugar that plaque-causing bacteria love to feed on. Don't smoke! Cigarettes and chewing tobacco cause mouth irritation and are very unhealthy for gums and teeth. Regular dental care is extremely important to keep your mouth healthy. Visit your nearest Apollo Dental clinic at least twice a year.

Radiographic or X-ray

examinations provide your dentist with an important diagnostic tool that shows the condition of your teeth, their roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones.

X-Rays can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of periodontal disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays can also show the exact location of impacted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through visual examination (such as changes in the jaw bone structure as a result of systemic disease).

Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Sometimes, however, damage occurs to a tooth (often from a deep cavity or an injury that causes a tooth to crack) and the inside of the tooth becomes infected. This infection damages the pulp of the tooth - the network of blood vessels and nerves inside.

Left untreated, the damaged pulp can cause infection that will damage the bone around the tooth and cause swelling and pain. If the damaged tooth becomes infected, your dentist, or a dental specialist called an Endodontist, may have to perform an endodontic treatment (often called Root Canal Therapy) to save it.

Endodontic treatment involves opening the tooth, removing the damaged pulp, cleaning, shaping, filling and sealing the tooth. Depending upon how much infection there is in the injured tooth, your may be put on a course of medication before your dentist or Endodontist can begin the treatment.

Gingivitis is an infection within the gums caused by bacteria found in plaque. A diabetic patient’s body does not respond as quickly to the infection as a non-diabetic. If the infection persists, it can spread to the underlying bone that supports and anchors the teeth.

It has been shown that diabetics who keep their condition under control and maintain good oral hygiene have a far better chance of combating infection than those who are poorly controlled.

A child's dental development begins before birth, and continues for about the next 18 years. When your child's first tooth appears, you might begin pondering when the first trip to the dentist should be scheduled. Your child's first visit to a dentist should be by the age of two or three, when all the 20 baby teeth have come in. After the first visit, your child should see a dentist twice a year for regular cleaning and checkup. These visits allow your dentist to detect flaws early, possibly preventing more serious problems in the future. For the child's comfort, you might consider selecting a pediatric dentist. These doctors specialize in treating young patients, and are usually careful to be gentle and sensitive to the young child's needs.

Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by the frequent and long term exposure of a child’s teeth to liquids containing sugars. Among these liquids are milk, formula, fruit juice, sodas, and other sweetened drinks.

The sugars in these liquids pool around the infant’s teeth and gums, feeding the bacteria that cause plaque. Every time your child consumes a sugary liquid, acid attacks his/her teeth. After numerous attacks, tooth decay can occur, resulting in baby bottle tooth decay.

Parents sometimes do not realize that baby's teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they appear in the infant’s mouth. By the time the decay is noticed, it may be too late to save the child’s teeth. You can prevent this from happening to your child’s teeth by knowing how to protect them.

After each feeding, wipe the child’s teeth and gums with a damp washcloth or small soft toothbrush to remove plaque. Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts.

Flossing should begin when all primary teeth have erupted, usually by age 2 or 2 1/2. Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle containing a sweetened liquid. If your child refuses to fall asleep without a bottle, simply fill it with water and nothing else.

If your local water supply does not contain enough decay–fighting fluoride, check with your dentist to see if your child should receive fluoride supplements. Start dental visits between six and twelve months of age.

Baby bottle tooth decay can cause painful toothaches which can hinder eating. Severely decayed teeth can become infected and need to be extracted. If your child’s teeth are infected or lost too early due to baby bottle tooth decay, your child may have some of these problems:

Poor eating habits, Speech problems, Crooked teeth, Damaged adult (permanent) teeth, Yellow or brown adult (permanent) teeth Keep your child happy and smiling by preventing baby bottle tooth decay.

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