Tooth anatomy

Toggle: English / Spanish

Information

The part of the tooth you can see is called the crown. The outer surface of the crown is made of enamel. Just beneath the enamel is dentin, a substance harder than bone. The gum surrounds the base (root) of the tooth.

The root of the tooth extends down into the jawbone. The root contains blood vessels and nerves, which supply blood and feeling to the whole tooth. This area is known as the "pulp" of the tooth.

The jawbone is attached to all of the teeth. It keeps your teeth stable and allows you to move your mouth and teeth to chew. The lower jawbone is called the mandible. The upper jawbone is called the maxilla.

References

Lingen MW. Head and neck. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC, eds. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 16.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/14/2015
  • Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.