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Teeth may be thought of as white pearls given by God to Man. They are the hard, bone-like structures in the upper and lower jaws of human beings. The full complement of teeth comprises 20 in a child and 32 in an adult.

The visible portion of a tooth is called the crown and the invisible part is called the root. The root anchors the tooth to the jaws.

The tooth is made up of the following components:

  1. Enamel It is the hardest tissue in the human body and forms the outer covering of the tooth.
  2. Dentin It is a hard tissue that comprises the bulk of the inner tooth. Dentin has nerve supply and therefore responds to various stimuli.
  3. Pulp It is the innermost part of a tooth. It consists of blood vessels and nerves and provides nutrition and sensitivity to the tooth.
  4. Cementum It is a hard tissue that covers the root of the tooth.
  5. Periodontal ligaments These are composed of collagen fibres, and they attach the teeth to supporting alveolar bone and gingival tissues.

Gums surround the teeth, anchor the root within the bone and are crucial for oral health.

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