Solar Dental & Orthodontics

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Dentin and the Components of Your Teeth.

Components of your teeth are four dental tissues. Three of them—dentin, enamel, and cementum—are hard tissues. 

The fourth tissue—pulp, or the center of the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue—is a soft, or non-calcified, tissue.

Dentin is a tissue that contains tiny tubules or tubes. It is the second layer of the tooth and is normally covered by enamel and covers the pulp, making up the majority of the tooth’s structure. Both denser and harder than bone, the color of dentin may range anywhere from grey to black but is typically a pale yellow. This yellow hue is generally what is seen penetrating through the tooth’s enamel. During tooth whitening, the dentin layer is exposed to bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The lightening of the dentin from the use of a bleaching agent produces the appearance of whiter teeth.

Components of Dentin:

Dentin can be narrowed down to smaller components:

  • Primary Dentin – consisting of mantle dentin; the layer closest to the enamel, and newly formed presenting which has not mineralized.
  • Secondary Dentin – after the formation of the roots, secondary dentin begins forming slowly and may cause the pulp chamber of the tooth to decrease in size.
  • Tertiary Dentin – Formed as a defense mechanism to stimuli such as caries, tertiary dentin forms rapidly and irregularly.

Tooth sensitivity is caused when the dentin is exposed to temperature changes, acidic food or beverages, and sugars found again, in food or beverage. Dentin exposure is caused by receding gums, tooth decay, and the loss of enamel by dental abrasion.

The rest of the components of the teeth:

  • Enamel:  Hard calcified tissue covering the dentin in the crown of the tooth. Because it contains no living cells, tooth enamel cannot repair damage from decay or from wear. Only a dentist can correct these conditions.
  • Anatomical Crown: The visible part of your tooth. It is normally covered by enamel.
  • Gums (also called gingiva.): Soft tissues that cover and protect the roots of your teeth and cover teeth that have not yet erupted.
  • Pulp Chamber: The space occupied by the pulp—the soft tissue at the center of your teeth containing nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. 
  • Neck: The area where the crown joins the root.
  • Jawbone (Alveolar Bone.) The part of the jaw that surrounds the roots of the teeth.
  • Root Canal: The portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.
  • Cementum: Hard connective tissue covering the tooth root, giving attachment to the periodontal ligament.
  • Periodontal Ligament: A system of collagenous connective tissue fibers that connect the root of a tooth to its socket.


We love our patients and love to help them form a healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions, so get an appointment today.