If you visit the dentist regularly, you might hear someone in the clinic talk about dentin. Dentin is a part of your teeth, and it is something dentists often refer to when examining teeth and mouths. Here are several important things you should know about dentin.
What is dentin?
Your teeth are made up of layers, and one of these layers is made up of a substance called dentin. The layer of tooth you see when you look at your teeth is made up of a substance called enamel. The enamel on your teeth is there for protective purposes. Underneath the layer of enamel is the next layer of tooth, and this layer is called the dentin. Dentin is made up of tissue and is very hard in nature. Dentin is yellowish in color and contains tubules. The tubules contain nerves.
What happens when dentin is exposed?
When the enamel on a tooth wears away, which is called tooth erosion, it leaves the layer of dentin exposed. When this happens, it often leads to sensitivity in teeth, and this is primarily because there are exposed nerves in your mouth. When these nerves feel things that are really hot or cold, they tend to react.
If your dentin is exposed, you may also be at a higher risk to develop an infection in the roots of your teeth. This occurs because the tubules inside dentin lead to the roots of your teeth. If bacteria gets inside the tubules, it could infect the roots of your teeth. When this occurs, you may need to have a root canal procedure completed to eliminate the infection in the roots.
What can you do if the dentin is discolored?
Even though dentin is located on the inner part of your teeth, it can still become discolored. The problem with this is that you cannot whiten dentin. When you whiten your teeth, you are really only whitening the outer parts. If the dentin is discolored, it will often show through the teeth, leaving them looking dingy even after professional whitening services.
If your teeth are discolored because of the dentin in your teeth, you could talk to your dentist about placing composite bonding on your teeth. This is a great way to cover up discoloration, but it is also a great way to replace enamel that was lost on the teeth.
Dentin is an important part of your teeth, and it is important for you to understand the role it plays. If you have questions about the health of your teeth, contact a cosmetic dentist like Michael G Landy DDS.