Dr. Ben Lambeth, DDS & Dr. Megumi Lambeth, DDS

310 East Main St., Suite 335 | Carrboro, NC 27510

What Are Teeth Made Of?

Headshot of a blonde middle-aged woman with white teeth smiling outside wearing a silver necklace and black shirt

Your teeth are just as unique as you are! While you may have heard that teeth are bones, they’re actually composed of different materials than our other bones are. After all, teeth are designed to help you eat, talk, and smile, things no other part of your body can do! We’ll walk you through what composes your teeth layer by layer below.

  1. Outer Layer: Enamel
  2. The enamel is the outer protective layer of your teeth. Although it’s quite tough, it isn’t made of living tissue, so it doesn’t regenerate as bone does. If sugar is left on the enamel for too long, bacteria that live on the surface of your teeth release acid after they consume it that can damage the enamel. Acidic foods and drinks like citrus and soda can also damage the enamel. Once the enamel is worn down, your teeth are more susceptible to decay.

  3. Middle Layer: Dentin
  4. Dentin is soft yellow tissue under the enamel that makes up the most of your teeth. Since it’s not as strong as enamel, it can become easily infected when in contact with bacteria, causing cavities and decay.

  5. Inner Layer: Pulp
  6. The pulp is the soft center of your tooth. Made of nerves, connective tissue, and blood cells, the pulp is extremely delicate. If infected, you’ll need a root canal to flush out the infected pulp, which will be replaced by a material called gutta-percha.

How Teeth Are Different From Other Bones

Bones are made of living tissue, so they are able to heal themselves. In contrast, teeth are not made of living tissue, so once they’re chipped or broken, they won’t be able to regenerate. But don’t worry if this happens! Drs. Ben and Megumi Lambeth can find the perfect restorative solution for you even if you’re completely missing an adult tooth.

Take Good Care of Your Teeth

You only have one set of adult teeth, so do your best to properly take care of them! Brush and floss your teeth twice every day, eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar and acidic foods, and visit us for biannual checkups to ensure that you aren’t developing cavities. We are committed to helping all members of your family have healthy, beautiful smiles at Milltown Family Dentistry.

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Milltown Family Dentistry