Do you ever wonder about the function of your teeth? Of course, they sit in your mouth and create your smile. Teeth have a crucial role concerning your health. For example, your teeth allow you to eat your favorite foods and speak without difficulty. Additionally, your teeth play a part in giving your face its shape.
While your teeth work as a whole, your individual teeth perform different functions. You have four different types of teeth. Each of these teeth serves as a tool while speaking or eating. You look at your teeth in the mirror every day. So knowing what part they play in keeping you healthy and functioning is helpful.
Inside Your Teeth
Before diving into the types of teeth, understanding the structure of your teeth is just as important. The layer that you will be the most familiar with is the enamel. The enamel is the protective outer covering of your teeth that preserves the inner parts of your teeth. When you look at your teeth, your enamel is the hard, white part above your gums. Interestingly, the enamel is the hardest surface in your entire body.
Inside the enamel lies the dentin and the pulp. The dentin is a cushion between the enamel and the pulp. Throughout the dentin are little tubules that connect the pulp to the enamel. The pulp houses the nerves and blood vessels in your tooth. Therefore, the innermost portion of your tooth is incredibly sensitive, especially if exposed.
Starting with the front of your teeth, you have four incisors on the top and bottom of your mouth. Your eight incisors help you bite into food. The front of your incisors are flat, and the backs are chisel-shaped. This creates a sharp edge that makes it possible to sink your teeth into your food.
Next to your incisors lie your canine teeth. You have four canine teeth–two on the top and two on the bottom. Canines are sharp and pointy, allowing them to tear food. Furthermore, the shape resembles a dog’s fangs, which is how they got their name.
Beside your canine teeth are the premolars. You have eight premolars in total–four on the top jaw and four on the bottom. Interestingly, your premolars combine the shape of a canine and a molar. Like a canine, the front of the tooth is flat with a sharp point. However, the bottom of the tooth has a similar shape to a molar that crushes and grinds food. Premolars are the first to grind food into smaller pieces, making it easy to swallow.
Finally, you have twelve molars in the very back of your mouth. Molars are responsible for breaking down food for you to swallow. The last set of molars to develop is called “wisdom teeth.” Additionally, these teeth don’t come in until patients are in their late teens or early twenties. It is not uncommon for patients to not have enough room for their wisdom teeth. So, a dentist must extract them.