Enamel

The enamel is a hard, translucent tissue that covers the crown of the tooth. It is the hardest tissue in the human body. The enamel is responsible for the tooth’s color, and the color can change by drinking a lot of coffee, tea, red wine and more.

Composition:

Enamel is one of the most important tissues in a tooth. This is also the hardest tissue in the human body. It covers the crown. Below the enamel are dentin and the pulp chamber. Enamel is a semi-translucent substance that contains a high level of minerals in the ingredient list. Since the enamel is semi-translucent, dentin has a large impact on the color of teeth. Enamel contains 96% minerals, the larger part made of hydroxyapatite crystals and a small part of calcium phosphate. The remaining 4% is water and organic substances. This hard structure prevents substances to enter the tooth and reach the dentin and pulp. It also makes teeth very resistant to decay. Enamel has different thickness in different parts of the crown. The thickness is usually the biggest on the cusps and it becomes thinner moving towards the cervix of the tooth. It is thinnest in the area of the cementoenamel junction. This substance can have a different color starting with yellowish, to a hint of blue. Dentin is not present in the incisal edge of the incisors, so that is why those parts can be a little bit see-through. The enamel is created before the tooth erupts. It does not contain any nerves or blood vessels.

There are several things that can cause damage to the enamel. The first one is acids from bacteria. Some types of bacteria present in the mouth create acids that can be very damaging to the minerals of hydroxylapatite. External factors such as acids that come from foods and drinks, mechanical force, bad habits can all damage the enamel. Every decay on the crown starts from the enamel. This is a substance present in a thin layer and if the caries is not stopped in the initial stage it will progress further. If it is stopped in time, remineralization is an option. This is a process that helps in repairing the damage caused by acids by using minerals. Prevention and remineralization are the two ways that dentists tend to act towards dental caries.

The enamel gets in touch with cementum on the cementoenamel junction located in the cervical part of the tooth. The two substances can be in three different relationships. The most common one is present in around 50-60% of people and the cementum overlaps the enamel. In 30% the two substances touch. And in 5 to 10% there is a gap between the two. When there is a gap that exposes the dentin and leaves it more sensitive to other factors. That is why some people might experience hypersensitivity if the gums are receded. This usually happens due to hot and cold drinks or water. It means that the nerve endings in the dentin are exposed.

enamel