Teeth are bone formations in the oral cavity, which serve to bite and break down food. They mechanically process the food and take part in the formation of speech sounds. Some animals, particularly carnivores, also use teeth for hunting or for defensive purposes.
Teeth are located in two rows – upper and lower dentition. According to their predominant function there are four types of teeth:
1. The Incisors are the teeth in the very front. They’re the sharpest teeth, built to cut food and shaped to shovel the food inward.
2. The Canine teeth are in the corners of your mouth. Because they’re meant for grasping and tearing food, they have very long roots.
3. The Premolars are located just behind your Canine teeth. Premolars have a more flat chewing surface because they’re meant for crushing food.
4. The Molars are the last teeth towards the back of your mouth. Molars are much bigger than the Premolars and have bigger, flatter chewing surfaces because their job is to chew and grind the food into smaller pieces.
– Wisdom teeth – the last four teeth on each side of the upper and lower jaw.
The number and location of the different types of teeth on the left side of each row matches the number and location of the same types on the right side.
At between six and ten months of age, most infants begin to get their “baby” teeth.
By the time a child has reached three years old, most of the “baby” teeth should be present.
The process begins to repeat itself when the child is about seven years old. The Central Incisors fall out first and are replaced by permanent teeth. By the age of 21, most people have all of their permanent teeth. The total number of permanent teeth of humans is 32, of primary teeth – 20.
Here is some information about the teeth of six different animal species:
Horse – 24 primary, 42 permanent
Cow – 20 primary, 32 permanent
Sheep – 20 primary, 32 permanent
Pig – 32 primary, 44 permanent
Dog – 28 primary, 42 permanent
Cat – 26 primary, 30 permanent
A tooth is basically made up of two parts: the crown and the root.
The crown is what you see when you smile or open your mouth. It’s the part that sits above your gumline.
The root is below the gumline. It makes up about 2/3rds of the tooth’s total length. There may be one or more.
Four different tissues make up each tooth: