Teeth of humans are small, calcified, hard, whitish structures found in the mouth. They function in mechanically breaking down items of food by cutting and crushing them in preparation for swallowing and digestion. The roots of teeth are embedded in the maxilla (upper jaw) or the mandible (lower jaw) and are covered by gums. Teeth are made of multiple tissues of varying density and hardness.
Teeth are among the most distinctive (and long-lasting) features of mammal species. Humans, like other mammals, are diphyodont, meaning that they develop two sets of teeth. The first set (also called the “baby”, “milk”, “primary”, and “deciduous” set) normally starts to appear at about six months of age, although some babies are born with one or more visible teeth, known as neonatal teeth. Normal tooth eruption at about six months is known as teeth ingand can be painful.
Dental trauma refers to trauma to the face, mouth, and especially the teeth, lips and periodontium. The study of dental trauma is called dental traumatology.
Dental anatomy is a field of anatomy dedicated to the study of tooth structure. The development, appearance, and classification of teeth fall within its field of study, though dental occlusion, or contact among teeth, does not. Dental anatomy is also a taxonomic science as it is concerned with the naming of teeth and their structures. This information serves a practical purpose for dentists, enabling them to easily identify teeth and structures during treatment.