Anatomy of a Tooth

Teeth are a lot more complicated than they might seem from the outside, which is why we’re using this post to provide a brief dental anatomy lesson. Now let’s dive right into the structure of a tooth! The easiest way to do this will be to divide that anatomy into two main categories: the crown and the root.

Something To Chew On: The Crown

The crown of a tooth is the part that is above the gumline. It consists of three layers. The outermost layer is the enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. It needs to be so that we can chew our food! However, enamel isn’t made of actual cells, which means it can’t repair itself if it wears down. Good brushing and flossing habits, regular dental visits, and avoiding sugary or acidic food and drink will help preserve that enamel for life.

Beneath the enamel is dentin, which is a lot like bone, consisting of living tissue that is calcified. It contains microscopic tubules that run from the pulp at the core of the tooth to the outer enamel. That’s why we can feel temperature in our teeth! If the enamel has worn down, that normal sensation turns into painful tooth sensitivity.

At the very core of each tooth is the dental pulp chamber. The pulp includes the blood vessels that keep the tooth alive and nerves that provide sensation — including pain receptors that let us know when something is wrong. If tooth decay becomes severe enough to reach the dental pulp, you will definitely feel it, and that’s a great time to schedule a dental appointment, if not sooner!

Beneath The Surface: The Root

The root is the long part of the tooth that connects to the jaw bone. Tiny periodontal ligaments hold each tooth in place, and gum tissue provides extra support. The roots are hollow, with canals that link the nerves and blood vessels in the dental pulp to the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

The main difference in the structure of the root compared to the crown is that the root lacks enamel. Instead, it is protected by a thin, hard layer of cementum. As long as the gum tissue is healthy and properly covers the root, the lack of enamel there isn’t a problem, but this is why exposed roots from gum recession are more susceptible to decay.

Let’s Protect Those Teeth!

Every part of a tooth’s anatomy is important to it staying strong and healthy so that you can use it to chew your food and dazzle everyone around you with your smile, and that’s why it’s so important to keep up a strong dental hygiene regimen. Keep on brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing daily, and make sure to keep scheduling those dental appointments every six months!

Thank you for choosing us to play a role in keeping your teeth healthy!

Patient Portal

Stonehaven Dental is excited to announce the launch of our new Patient Portal that makes your trips to the dentist more convenient than ever!

Now you can schedule an appointment, build a family file and pay your bill – anytime you like, 24/7. At Stonehaven Dental we are always looking for ways to make your experience with our practices even better. The Patient Portal is a way for you to securely manage your account and find an appointment time that works for you and your family.

Signing up is easy! If you are the guarantor of the account, call your dental office today and they will give you the information you need to get started!

Visit test.stonehavendental.com/login for more information.

Oral Cancer Awareness

Oral and pharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kills nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. Of the people newly diagnosed with these cancers, only about 60% will live longer than 5 years. Moreover, many who do survive suffer long-term problems such as severe facial disfigurement or difficulties eating and speaking. The death rate associated with oral and pharyngeal cancers remains particularly high due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

This month, we want to remind you that regular oral cancer examinations from your dental professional are the best methods to detect oral cancer in its early stages. Regular dental visits can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

  • Tobacco Smoking
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption
  • Gender (twice as common in men)
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Age
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral HPV infection

Oral Cancer Signs & Symptoms

The earliest signs of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer may be mistaken for other problems, such as a toothache or cold. If symptoms persist for several days or weeks, it is important to see your doctor so that, if oral cancer is present, it can be diagnosed as soon as possible. Many of these symptoms can be due to other, less serious problems or other cancers.

  • Unusual lumps or bumps in the mouth, wart-like masses, mouth sores that do not heal
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Unusual nosebleeds or other bleeding from oral cavity
  • Distortion of any of the senses, numbness in oral or facial regions
  • Sore throat, hoarseness, ear pain
  • Progressive swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, shifting of teeth

HPV and Oral Cancer

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is an infection that can be transmitted through sexual contact, unwashed hands and saliva. HPV 16 and 18 have been linked to oral cancer. It is estimated that over 50% of all oral cancers are associated with HPV lesions. A vaccine is now available to prevent infections from HPV 16 and 18.

Help Raise Awareness

If you’d like to help us raise oral cancer awareness this month, feel free to share this blog with your friends on social media. And remember to ask for an oral cancer screening at your next dental checkup!

 

Free Dental Care at Stonehaven Dental – Lehi and Draper on May 7, 2016

Join us at Stonehaven Dental – Lehi and Draper on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for a day of free dentistry! Dental offices from all over the area will join forces to provide free cleanings, fillings and extractions for our community. Each participant may choose one of the following:

  • free cleaning
  • free filling
  • free extraction

This event will be held at our Lehi office, located at 181 N 1200 E., and in Draper at 177 W. 12300 S. Suite 101.

You must be 18 or older to participate. Services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Volunteers are needed! Please call 801-701-9012 for more information and to get involved.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

The American Dental Association (ADA) established National Children’s Dental Health Month over thirty years ago to promote the benefits starting young to achieve good oral health.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the country.  Tooth decay affects more children than asthma or hay fever. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40% of children will have some tooth decay by the time they enter kindergarten. The good news for parents is that tooth decay is preventable!

The following recommendations will get your child off to a great start with good dental health.

  • Brush and floss twice each day

The best weapons available to a parent are a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. The ADA recommends that parents teach their children to brush for two minutes two times a day—morning and evening at bedtime. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach your child to avoid swallowing toothpaste.  Parents should provide help and supervision until a child is about seven or eight years old.

  • Limit sugary treats and drinks

This includes avoiding juice between meals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends limiting juice to four to six ounces per day. Parents can also replace sugary treats with healthy snacks such as cheese, yogurt, and fruit.

  • Schedule a dental checkup

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule their child’s first visit to the dentist when the child turns one year of age. First birthday equals first checkup.  However, if a parent detects discoloration or staining, they should schedule an appointment right away.

  • Make sure your water has fluoride

Fluoride helps teeth resist acid attacks by strengthening tooth enamel. If your local water supply does not have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride drops or tablets.

National Children’s Dental Health Month is a good reminder that it’s never too early to start your child on the path of good dental health. Habits developed early tend to become lifelong habits.

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