Anatomy and Development of the Mouth and Teeth

It’s quite rare for a baby to be born with teeth. In fact, when it happened to this mom it raised quite a few eyebrows. However, you might be surprised to find out that actually your baby’s teeth begin to grow while they are still a fetus.

To ensure that your baby’s teeth grow strong and healthy, you as the mother should ensure that you are taking adequate amounts of vitamin C, phosphorous, vitamin D, and calcium.

During pregnancy, mothers are cautioned against taking certain medications as they might have a negative effect on their baby’s teeth development.

One such medication is tetracycline which is used to treat various infections including acne. When used by pregnant mothers, tetracycline can lead to the discoloration of an embryo’s teeth.

There are four stages of tooth development. They include:

Stage 1

This stage takes place about 6 weeks into your pregnancy. This is when most rudimentary parts of the tooth begin to form.

Stage 2

At around 4 months into the pregnancy, hard tissue begins to form around the teeth.

Stage 3

It is at this stage that the teeth begin to protrude from the gums. This happens after the baby has been born.

Stage 4

This final stage involves the loss of baby teeth and takes place starting age 6.

A Tooth’s Anatomy

There are four main types of teeth found in humans; incisors, canines, premolars, molars. However, the anatomy of a tooth remains the same for all types of teeth. Every tooth is made up of four parts:


This is the outer most part of the tooth, that is, the part that’s exposed. It is not only the hardest part of the tooth but the entire body. It is the enamel that protects the inner parts of your tooth, preventing decay. Once destroyed, enamel cannot be replaced by your body so you should do everything you can to replace it.

Acidic fruits and beverages as well as sugary foods are known to cause damage to enamel. These foods are consumed by bacteria which in turn produce lactic acid which corrodes your enamel leading to cavities.

Enamel can also be damaged by hard items such as ice cubes and can cause it to crack.


Dentin is calcified body tissue. This part of the tooth is the inner portion of the tooth that comes immediately after enamel. It is also the largest dental tissue. Dentin is yellow in color however, the intensity of yellow varies from one person to the next.

This explains why some people can never achieve pure white teeth despite using teeth whitening treatments.


The pulp layer is underneath the Dentin. This is the part of the tooth that houses the living part of the tooth, that is, blood vessels, large nerves, and connective issues.

One of the important roles played by the pulp is the sensory function. When you have a tooth ache or you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity it’s your pulp’s nerve endings that send the signal to your brain.


The root is the part of your tooth that secures it to the jaw. The root is encapsulated in a thin layer of bone and is in the socket found in the bone jaw. This connection is what anchors the tooth into position.

If you would like to know how to better take care of your child’s primary teeth feel free to consult a Top Wake Forest, NC dental office like ours.