QS Study

The teeth are the hardest substances in the human body. They are set in the tooth sockets and are used in mastication and in support in articulation.

Parts of the teeth include:

  • Enamel: The hardest, white outer part of the tooth.
  • Dentin: A layer underlying the enamel.
  • Pulp: The softer, living inner structure of teeth.
  • Cementum: A layer of connective tissue that binds the roots of the teeth firmly to the gums.
  • Periodontal ligament: Tissue that helps hold the teeth tightly against the jaw.
  • Root: The part of the tooth that secures it into the jaw.

Clinical anatomy of Teeth and Gums 1

Fig: Clinical anatomy of Teeth and Gums

Clinical anatomy of Teeth and Gums

(1) Being the hardest and chemically most stable tissues in the body, the teeth are selectively preserved after death and maybe fossilized. Because of this, the teeth are very helpful in medicolegal practice for identification of otherwise unrecognizable dead bodies. The teeth also provide by far the best data to study evolutionary changes and the relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny.

(2) In scurvy (caused by a deficiency of vitamin C) the gums are swollen and spongy and bleed on touch. In gingivitis, the edges of the gums are red and bleed easily. Gums can be considered a mucosal tissue and the lamina propria is attached to the underlying bone of the maxilla or mandible which is referred to the alveolar bone.

(3) Decalcification of enamel and dentine with consequent softening and gradual destruction of the tooth is known as dental caries. A carious tooth is tender and mastication painful.

(4) Irregular dentition is common in rickets and the upper permanent incisors may be notched. The notching corresponds to a small segment of a large circle. In congenital syphilis also the same teeth are notched, but the notching corresponds to a large segment of a small circle (Hutchinson’s teeth).

The crown and the root of the tooth meet at a point known as the neck of the tooth. This is also known as the cervical margin and this is an important landmark as it’s a landmark for orthodontists and surgeons who are considering the movement of the tooth.

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