The Anatomy of an Adult Mouth

It’s probably been a few years since you were sitting in class learning about the human mouth. In fact, very few of us will know the anatomy and functions of our own teeth as adults. It can be useful to understand the basics of what’s going on in there to help you realise when something needs a bit of attention.

One of the many reasons why Ipswich Family Dental Practice are a clinic you can trust is the fact that all of our staff are happy to have a chat, provide you with valuable information, and help you gain a better understanding of your oral health.

We’ll give you a basic introduction to the inner workings of your adult mouth; better equipping you to take control of your oral health and achieve the happiest and healthiest smile possible.


The Anatomy of the Tooth

Adults have 32 teeth if you exclude the wisdom teeth, and most of these have come into place by the time we turn 13. Every tooth is made of five major components:

  • The Enamel: the hard-outer layer of the tooth, made almost entirely of calcium phosphate
  • The Dentin: this is the layer beneath the enamel. It’s hard and contains microscopic tubes that can get sensitive when the enamel wears away or is damaged.
  • The Pulp: this layer is soft and contains the blood vessels and nerves of the teeth.
  • The Cementum: this is a connective tissue that attaches the roots to the gums and jaw.
  • The Periodontal Ligament: this tissue holds the teeth against the jaw so they stay in place.


Teeth and Their Function

Adults have five different kinds of teeth (unless they do not develop wisdom teeth, which is possible, but rare).

  • Incisors: adults have eight of these and they are located in the middle of both the top and bottom rows of teeth. They are used for biting and slicing into the food we eat.
  • Canines: adults have four canines. They are the pointed teeth on the outside of the incisors and assist in the biting and tearing of food.
  • Premolars: adults have eight of these in total. They are the teeth that sit next to the canines and are used for grinding down food.
  • Molars: adults have eight of these. They are the flatter teeth at the back of the mouth and are the best for grinding the food we eat.
  • Wisdom teeth: adults may have four of these if they grow, and they are often removed due to complications.


Every tooth has a crown that sits inside the mouth, and a root that goes beyond the gum line and into the jaw.


Contact Ipswich Family Dental Practice

If you would like to learn more about the anatomy of the mouth, call the team at Ipswich Family Dental Practice. Have a chat or ask us questions on 07 3281 1781 today. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online.

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