What is Cementum?
Teeth are composed from enamel, but it’s actually cementum that holds the teeth in place. Cementum is a very durable substance, which shares many qualities with bone. Cementum is actually derived from the same word as the more durable construction material, and it forms a similar duty. Each tooth is connected to the jawbone, and each must be anchored in place in order to function. Just the act of chewing jostles the teeth more than people realize, and the cementum holds the teeth in place. When children’s teeth become loose, it’s because their bodies produce a special cell to reabsorb the cementum. If an adult has a loose tooth, the cementum was probably damaged by blunt force, bacteria or oral disease.
Cementum is actually the topmost layer of the tooth’s root. It’s responsible for holding the tooth in place and it also protects the root. Parts of the human tooth are organic tissue, which makes them vulnerable to bacteria. The soft nerve is unprotected when the cementum is damaged or claimed by decay. This can lead to the loss of the tooth and very serious tooth pain.
The cementum is self-sustaining as it receives nutrients from cells embedded within the periodontal ligament. Though Cementum is organic, it does contain inorganic materials such as collagen, making it quite unique. Cementum is similar to tooth enamel in some ways, and it differs in others. It isn’t quite as hard as dentin, but it does entrap osteocytes. This process gives cementum some of the same qualities as alveolar bone. There are a number of ways that cementum can become damaged, but there are also viable solutions.
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A lose permanent tooth is usually the sign of managed cementum, but don’t worry. Gulf Coast Endodontist is committed to remedying the most troubling dental issues, including a Houston root canal as well as damaged or eroded cementum. Your smile can be your best asset, so it’s important to take care of it.