Teeth vary in shape and size but have an identical structure. Each tooth consists of a hard shell that surrounds a cavity of soft tissue, known as pulp. The crown (the exposed part of the shell) is coated in a tough layer of enamel, beneath which is a layer of a yellowish substance similar to ivory, called dentine. The dentine and pulp form long, pointed roots that extend into the jawbone and are covered by a layer of firm, fleshy tissue called the gums.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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