What Are Teeth Made Of?

Did you know that teeth are composed of four primary layers? Each layer plays a pivotal role in supporting a strong smile and a healthy mouth. Below, we discuss the four primary layers that make teeth and their primary purposes.


Enamel is the outer most layer of the tooth that protects teeth from the elements that cause cavities. It is the hardest surface in the human body and the first line of defense against cavities. It is the visual surface of the tooth, and usually stops around the gum line.  Think of enamel as a barrier that shields your teeth from harm.


The layer directly beneath enamel is dentin, which is made up of microscopic tubes! It is a sensitive layer that surrounds pulp, and plays a pivotal role in communicating sensations from the surface of your teeth to the nerves inside your teeth. Without dentin, our teeth wouldn’t feel the difference between ice cream and hot soup!


Cementum is layer between the root of teeth and gums. It is primarily beneath the gum line, and helps anchor teeth to the bones in the jaw. Cementum is really cool because it can actually repair itself! Think of Cementum as the foundation of a home that keeps the house (tooth) grounded and secure.


Dental pulp is the living tissue at the core of teeth, and acts as an alarm bell that sends signals sent from the dentin to the brain. Pulp is soft and contains a large network of nerves and blood vessels. It is the most sensitive and important part of teeth, and can be very sensitive if it is ever exposed.

Protect Your Teeth

If your enamel becomes damaged then the different layers of your teeth are exposed to increasing harm. The best way to protect your teeth is by brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time. Additionally, you should floss once per day, and try to drink more water – which helps produce saliva and clean teeth.

If your child suffers from tooth sensitivity, or complains of gum pain, then visit our office. Dental cavities are the most prevalent –and preventable – disease that affects children. Visit our office so that we can evaluate your child’s oral health, and outline a plan to help them achieve optimal oral health.