What’s Inside a Tooth?

What’s Inside a Tooth?

Taking a look at the components of a tooth.

Having received many years of dental training, and through performing lots of procedures for our Ipswich dental patients, as you might expect, we are completely familiar with the various parts of the teeth.

We have, on occasions, though, been surprised to find that a few patients believe the tooth to be one solid mass, which is not the case.

The tooth is, in fact, made up of a number of components, all of which play a role in its daily use and health. Let us take a closer look at these components now.

The Crown

The crown of a tooth is the part that most patients will be familiar with. It is the part that is visible and is made up of a hard material called enamel. Provided that the enamel remains intact and healthy, most dental problems can be avoided.


Dentin is what makes up the majority of the tooth and lies just underneath the hard enamel exterior. Whilst solid in appearance, it is, in fact, highly porous. Where the enamel of the tooth becomes damaged, the dentin is able to absorb bacteria which, once reaching the root canals, is likely to result in toothache or an abscess.

The Root

The root of a tooth is anchored in the bone and plays a large part in securing the tooth in place. It is not protected by enamel, and when gum recession occurs, can be compromised. For this reason, our hygienists at Foxhall Dental Practice are likely to recommend a scale and polish from time to time to eradicate built up plaque which can contribute to gum problems.


The pulp lies under the dentin layer and extends deep into the roots of a tooth. This area contains all of the nerves and tiny blood vessels and it is in this area that pain originates when a tooth becomes infected. If the pulp itself becomes infected, a root canal procedure may be necessary in order to save the tooth.

Gum and Bone

Although not technically parts of the tooth, these two play a major role in the health of a tooth. The gums especially should be taken care of by regular brushing and flossing. Failure to do so may result in gum disease. Whilst, with a reasonable diet, the bones that hold your teeth in place should be healthy; where gum disease occurs and is ignored, periodontitis may occur which can result in bone loss in that area, thereby threatening the security of teeth.

Because the tooth can be affected in many ways if not looked after, we like to monitor our patient’s oral health every six months or so in our Ipswich dental surgery.

Please ensure that you help us to keep your teeth in good health by keeping your appointments. We are here to help you and can be contacted during working hours on 01473 258396.