Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Why are natural teeth invaluable?

Why are natural teeth invaluable?

Experts are constantly striving to understand how teeth grow in order to maintain their health and help patients appreciate their importance.

In this regard, Samer Zaki, assistant professor of oral and craniofacial sciences from the University of Pittsburgh, explains how invaluable natural teeth are.

Tooth formation within the jawbone involves multi-layered mineral deposition.

As tooth development progresses through the final cellular engineering process, cells of the six tissues: enamel, dentin, pulp, cementum (calcified layer covering the tooth root), ligament, and bone proliferate, specialize and mineralize simultaneously with each other to form uniquely interlocking interfaces.

Zaki said that the secret to the longevity of teeth lies in their durability and how they are fixed to the jaw. He explained that cementum, ligament and bone hold the tooth together from the part of the root located under the gum.

A ligament (soft tissue about 0.2 millimeters wide) connects the root cementum to the jawbone. It stabilizes the tooth and reduces its movement during chewing.

Zaki pointed out that the secret of durability lies in the enamel, dentin and pulp.

Enamel—-

It is the protective shell that covers the visible part of the tooth above the gums. It is known as the strongest tissue in the body thanks to its high mineral content.

Enamel does not contain cells, blood vessels, or nerves, so it is non-living, insensitive, and non-renewable as well. So, once it is destroyed by caries or breakage, part of the enamel is gone forever.

Tooth decay begins in the enamel when acid-generating bacteria accumulate on unclean or poorly cleaned teeth, easily dissolving the minerals in the enamel. Caries progresses through the enamel layer, which is 2.5 mm thick, without pain.

Dentin and pulp

Dentin is the elastic body of the tooth, a living tissue made up of small parallel tubes containing fluids and cellular extensions. 

The pulp is known as the soft tissue heart of the tooth. It is very rich in cells, blood vessels and nerves, and is the source of life for the tooth and the key to its longevity.

Cellular extensions within the dentin decompose once the insensitive enamel layer penetrates the dentin. Once the extensions transmit the danger signal to the pulp, the tooth sensitivity alarm goes off.

The inflamed pulp initiates two preventive measures: the first, secreting an additional layer of dentin to delay the attack, and the second, toothache, which is an invitation to visit the dentist.

If the problem is detected in time, most of the tooth’s normal tissue can be preserved, and the pulp may regain its healthy state. The pulp can die slowly if you neglect to see a doctor.

Without pulp, the tooth has no defense against decay, which leads to the dentin drying out and breaking down sooner or later under the forces of constant chewing.

Teeth that have already lost a large part of their natural structure due to decay become weak and have a limited lifespan.