Beavers have chisel-like front teeth that they use to cut down large trees for building dams.
II HUMAN TEETH Human teeth are made of four distinct types of tissue: enamel, dentin, pulp, and cementum. Enamel, the clear outer layer of the tooth above the gum line, is the hardest substance in the human body. In human teeth, the enamel layer is about 0.16 cm (about 0.06 in) thick and protects the inner layers of the teeth from harmful bacteria and changes in temperature from hot or cold food. Directly beneath the enamel is dentin, a hard, mineral material that is similar to human bone, only stronger. Dentin surrounds and protects the pulp, or core of the tooth. Pulp contains blood vessels, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the tooth, and nerves, which transmit pain and temperature sensations to the brain. The outer layer of the tooth that lies below the gum line is cementum, a bonelike substance that anchors the tooth to the jawbone.
The visible portion of the tooth is called the crown. Projections on the top of each crown, used primarily for chewing and grinding, are called cusps. The portion of the tooth that lies beneath the gum line is the root. The periodontal ligament anchors the tooth in place with small elastic fibers that connect the cementum in the root to a special socket in the jawbone called the alveolus.
A Types of Human Teeth
Adult humans typically have 32 teeth—16 in the upper jaw and 16 in the lower jaw—that fit together and work in concert to chew food. Teeth on the right side of each jaw are usually identical to the teeth on the left side and matching teeth on opposite sides are referred to as sets, or pairs. Humans are heterodonts—that is, they have teeth of different sizes and shapes that serve different functions, such as tearing and grinding. In contrast, the homodont teeth found in many animals are all the same size and shape, and perform the same function.
Humans have four types of teeth, each with a specific size, shape, and function. Adult humans have eight incisors, located at the front of the mouth—four in the upper jaw and four in the lower jaw. Incisors have a sharp edge that is used to cut food. On either side of the incisors are the canines, named for their resemblance to the pointy fangs of dogs. The upper canines are sometimes called eyeteeth.