What Are Teeth Made Of?

The tooth is the hardest substance found in the human body. They are located in the mouth and aid in food crushing and digestion. The teeth support speech functions and add beauty to the human body too. A healthy tooth is one that is strong, white, and has no breaks or holes.

The teeth have, on several occasions, been wrongly classified as a bone in the human body, but it is not so. A dentist from The Smilist Dentals in Queens defined the difference between tooth and bone thus: “teeth are non-living tissues while bones are living tissues.” The teeth are a collection of different kinds of tooth each serving different functions, and they are:

  • Incisors: These are square-shaped and sharp-edged teeth found in the front of the mouth; they are used for cutting.
  • Canine: They are also called eyeteeth or cuspids, and they are the pointy-edged teeth found beside the incisors. They are used for tearing food.
  • Premolar: These teeth lie between the molar and canine. They have flat surfaces used for crushing food.
  • Molar: They are bigger than the premolars, and they possess broad, flat surface points and grooves. The molars are used for grinding food.
  • Wisdom teeth: These are also called 3rd molars.   Due to their large nature, they can crowd or displace other teeth, thereby causing pain.


Sets Of Teeth

Humans are diphyodont; this means they possess the ability to develop two sets of teeth, they are:

  • The Milk teeth: Also referred to as primary or deciduous teeth, they consist of 20 teeth, mainly three kinds of tooth: 8 incisors, 4 canines, and 8 molars, all adding up to 20. These type of teeth is commonly found among babies between ages 6 months to 8 years. The milk teeth have an arrangement of 10sets on both the lower and upper jaws. These teeth eventually fall off to make way for permanent teeth.
  • The Permanent teeth: This set of teeth is also called the secondary teeth. They are stronger than the milk teeth and consist of a set of 32 teeth. They comprise 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, 8 molars, and 4 wisdom teeth. The permanent teeth are arranged 16 sets on both the upper and lower jaws. The incisors, canines, premolars, and molars manifest between ages 8-15 years, while wisdom teeth manifest between ages 18-27 years.

The process of teeth development is called Teething. The teething process spans from infancy into adulthood. And experts who are charged with caring for the teeth are called Dentists.


Parts Of The Tooth

The tooth is divided into three parts, and they are:

  1. The Crown: This makes up two-thirds of the whole tooth structure. It is the visible part of the tooth located above the gum.
  2. The Neck: This part lies between the crown and root. It is located in the gum.
  3. The Root: This part makes up almost one-third of the tooth. It is not visible and is located below the gum, deeply seated in the bone supporting the mouth.


Composition And Section Of The Tooth

This describes what the tooth is made up of, and the tooth is divided into four sections. They are:

  1. Enamel: This comprises 95-98% inorganic substances, 1% organic substance, and 1-4% water. It is the hardest tissue in the human body that covers the dentine, forming the outermost layer of the crown. It protects the teeth from harmful substances as well as changes in the temperature of food. It enables the teeth to withstand the pressure of chewing.
  2. Dentin: This is the hard yellow section found around the pulp. It is as hard as a bone that makes up most of the tooth, and it gives the tooth a yellowish tint. The dentin is composed of 70% inorganic matter and 30% organic matter.
  3. Pulp: This is composed of neurons, fibroblasts, macrophage, and vascular tissues. It lies in the innermost part of the tooth, and it has a rich supply of blood vessels and nerves to help maintain tooth vitality.
  4. Cementum: This has a composition of 55% inorganic materials and 45% organic materials. It is located in the root holding the tooth to the jaw bone.


Care Of The Teeth

Caring for the teeth is important to help keep and maintain healthy teeth. Here are trusted ways through which you can care for your teeth.

  1. Eating nutritious meals.
  2. Avoid sugary or sticky foods.
  3. Brushing the teeth twice daily.
  4. Rinsing your mouth after every meal to remove particles.
  5. Visit the dentist for a check-up regularly.



The teeth are constantly used in our everyday lives. If not properly cared for, they can become weak and open to infections and decay. It is always best to visit your dentist as soon as you notice any problem with your teeth.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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