September 7, 2022

Most people don’t think much about how their pearly whites help break food down into digestible bites or how they help provide structure for their smiles. However, healthy teeth significantly affect relationships, job performance, and general life quality. The best dentist in Morton, IL,  invites you to take a closer look at your teeth and the components of each tooth so you can appreciate the importance of ensuring proper oral care.

a Dentist in Morton, IL using a dental mirror to check a female patient's teeths

The Anatomy of a Tooth


Since the crown is what you see above the gum line, some people interchange the terms crown and tooth. However, the crown is only a part of the tooth’s anatomy. You use it for chewing, smiling, and talking.  

Furthermore, the crown’s shape determines the tooth’s function. For example, your premolars and molars are designed to crush food into swallowable pieces and maintain your jaw’s proper positioning. While your canines work to tear and rip food, your incisors take the first bites into your food and support your lips.  


The enamel is the hardest tissue in your body that covers each tooth. Moreover, the enamel protects the tooth’s internal structures from damage and insulates it from hot or cold temperatures. Despite its resilience, this protective shell can be vulnerable to decay. You can keep your enamel intact with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist.  


The dentin underneath the enamel’s surface consists of tunnel-like microscopic tubules and minerals. This layer makes up most of a tooth’s structure and is nine times softer than the outside shell. Dentin exposure due to tooth decay or gum recession can trigger tooth sensitivity as the dentin’s tubules allow hot or cold foods to stimulate the tooth’s nerve.


While the calcified hard tissues of the dentin and enamel, the pulp is the softest tissue in the center of the tooth that houses the nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. Furthermore, it branches out and continues through the tooth’s canals down each root. The pulp is responsible for forming dentin and ensuring blood flow to keep the tooth healthy and strong.

Gum Line

The gum line covers the parts of a tooth that keep it alive and healthy. Since the gum line is where the tooth and gums meet, it collects bacteria and debris. For this reason, the gum line is a breeding ground for plaque and tartar buildup that leads to gingivitis and gum disease. You can keep your gums healthy by brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, and ensuring bi-annual professional dental cleanings.


The root that makes up around two-thirds of the tooth lies below the gum line. Since it extends to the jawbone, it holds the tooth in place and enables the tooth to withstand biting and chewing forces.  


The cementum is the hard connective tissue layer covering the tooth’s root. It also connects the tooth’s roots to the periodontal ligament and the jawbone. When the cementum suffers damage, the tooth becomes mobile. Practicing good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups can keep the cementum healthy.

a smiling patient at the Dentist in Morton, IL

Do You Need to See the Best Dentist in Morton, IL?  

Are you looking to experience quality dentistry with a small-town touch? The team of dedicated professionals at Morton Dental Center is committed to delivering the highest standard of care. We work with accuracy and precision to ensure we provide superior results. Contact us today to make an appointment!

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