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The Cold Hard “Tooth” About Your Teeth

How Much Do You Know About Your Teeth?

You know, the things in your mouth that help you eat and are on display when you smile or laugh.

If you don’t know these few key facts, you may be missing out on information that can help you take better care of your teeth so that you can possibly avoid costly dental work in the future.

Your Teeth Are Incredibly Strong

They’re coated in a protective shell called enamel, which is the hardest surface in your body. Your enamel has to be this strong considering your mouth can exert 171 pounds of force.

Even though enamel is incredibly strong, it’s still vulnerable to damage from habits that you may not even realize are harmful. Things like excessive force when brushing or even eating certain foods can wear it down.

You should take extra precautions to make sure that you don’t damage your enamel because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Your teeth are the only part of your body that can’t heal themselves naturally. If they are damaged, you’re looking at potentially time consuming and costly dental treatments.

Your Teeth Are Made Up of Two Main Parts

The crown is the part that is visible and the root is hidden under your gums and is attached to the bone.

These two parts are made of four materials:

  • Enamel, which covers the crown
  • Dentin is the much softer substance that is under the enamel
  • Pulp is found in the centre of your tooth and contains the nerves and blood vessels that allow you to feel sensitivity or pain
  • Cementum covers the root of your tooth

When you look at the structure of your teeth, it is easy to see why it is important to take care of your oral health.For example, if you’ve damaged your teeth enough, you may be able to see a portion of the root.

The centre of the root is called the root canal. When it becomes damaged or infected, you may have to have a procedure called a root canal (named after the structure!), which is when the affected pulp is removed, and the other surfaces inside your tooth are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before a filling is placed to prevent further infections.

Flossing Can Help You Live Longer

We’ve spoken about the benefits of flossing many times (and there’s a good chance you’ve ignored us… many times), but this time you should reconsider your stance on flossing.

It’s so important that it’s the only flossing related question in the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator. The calculator predicts that your answer to the question could add or subtract one year from your life expectancy.

This simple, but often forgotten, habit helps stave off gum disease and heart disease by preventing your gums from becoming inflamed.

If they were to become inflamed, it means that you have an infection and it puts your arteries at risk of the bacteria building up there and causing plaque (which is when your arteries narrow and block blood flow). This makes it hard for your heart to work properly and can lead to heart disease.

Dentists Check for More Than Cavities and Gum Disease at Your Appointment

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the risk of developing oral cancer grows as you get older. They estimate that thousands of people will develop oral cancer each year.

When you go for your appointment, your dentist may notice things in your mouth that you don’t – things that could potentially save your life. They may pick up on the most subtle changes that could actually be signs of oral cancer, prompting you to go for screening and tackle the problem head on.

If you’re looking for a dentist who offers thorough, comprehensive exams, look no further than Dr. Andrea Stevens.

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