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~ Know Your Mouth ~

At Brinton Family Dentistry we believe in giving our patients all of the knowledge and skills they need to keep their smiles healthy and beautiful for life. From birth to retirement and beyond, our goal is to help all of our patients enjoy a high quality of life and feel great about their smile and how their teeth look and function. Please feel free to bring any of your questions in to us at your next appointment - we love to teach almost as much as we love for you to learn. In the meantime, check out some of the links below for some helpful info.

Anatomy of a tooth:

A tooth is a living part of your body and has several parts with which you should be familiar. The hard, outer layer of the tooth that you brush and floss is called the enamel. This is what makes teeth so strong. The dentin is the middle layer of the tooth and is not quite as tough as the enamel but gives it structure and support. The inside, living part of the tooth is called the pulp and has nerve tissue and blood vessels and gives the tooth feedback on things it doesn't like such as cold ice cream, hot coffee, or biting hard foods.

The part of the tooth above the gums that is covered by enamel is called the crown of the tooth and this is what does all of the chewing and smiling for you. Each of your teeth has at least one root, but sometimes two, three, or even more (go ahead, you can brag if this is you). No matter how many roots your teeth have, they all serve to anchor the tooth within the bone, albeit in different ways. These roots connect to the jawbone by way of a small, soft ligament called the periodontal ligament (PDL) that helps to nourish the tooth and give it a little bit of cushion when chewing. When aggravated by excessive chewing or grinding (day or night), or disease or other trauma, this ligament will certainly let you know when its not happy. Let us know if you think you fall into this camp - we'll help you know if what you're feeling is temporary, or if we need to help you get things back to normal.

Oh, and because we can laugh at ourselves here's a couple more links. Just for... grins:

Tim Conway, the dentist

A man scheduling for an extraction