What is Dentin?

Dentin is one of the four major components that makes up the structure of each tooth in the mouth. Along with enamel, cementum and pulp, dentin plays a vital role in the health of each tooth. Every tooth is covered in a layer of hard enamel. Under that layer, there are layers of dentin, which are nearly as hard as the enamel.

Dentin is made of mostly minerals, some organic material, and water. The natural color of dentin is typically a gray or yellow color. This substance is what gives the tooth its natural color, which is not typically a perfect white like the ideal teeth pictured in magazines and on television.

What is the Function of Dentin in the Mouth?

Dentin reinforces the tooth’s enamel and helps to support the structure of the tooth, but it also plays an important role inside the tooth. Dentin forms the layer of the tooth that surrounds the dental pulp, the soft tissue which makes up the inside of the tooth. It is also the primary component in the structure of the crown of the tooth.

Dentin is similar to bone and acts as a hard protectant around the dental pulp, which is a soft tissue vital to the health of the tooth. This helps to keep the pulp healthy and prevent the issues that may affect the inside of the tooth, such as infection resulting in the need for a root canal.

healthier dentin

Dentin typically worsens with age.

What Issues Can Arise With Dentin?

Many of the stains and discolorations that appear in the mouth originate in the dentin layer. These may be due to the normal aging process, over consumption of fluoride or consumption of other substances that can stain the tooth.

Problems with gums can also result in damage to the dentin layer. Once the gums begin to recede away from the teeth, layers of dentin can become exposed along the gum line. These layers are typically sensitive and once exposed can result in pain, particularly when consuming hot or cold foods that this area has never been exposed to before.

Proper care via quality dentistry or endodontics in Houston or anywhere, for that matter, can keep your mouth healthy!