What Is Dentin And Why Is It Essential In Dental Care?

Dentin is the second layer of a sound tooth, yellowish in colour. Acting as a shock absorber, it is an integral part of your teeth, says Dr. K. Sujatha.

Functions of Dentin:

Dentin acts as a cushion and absorbs all the masticatory forces. It is resilient in nature and thereby prevents excess masticatory forces acting on the teeth from affecting the pulp. Dentin is responsible for the yellowish hue of natural teeth.

Characteristics of Dentin:

  • Dentin contains 65% of mineral salts like calcium and phosphorus and 35% of proteins, carbohydrates etc.
  • Dentin is the sensitive zone of the tooth.
  • Dentin is soft in nature and it gets easily worn off once enamel is lost due to infection or excess chewing forces.
  • Dentin is deposited everyday unlike enamel which once lost is lost forever.

Dentinal defects:

Dentin is  not  deposited in adequate amounts in various genetic conditions like dentinogenesis imperfecta, dentin dysplasia etc. In such conditions the teeth may appear opaque white.

Sequelae of dentinal defects:

Any fracture or injury to the tooth might directly affect the pulp due to the absence of shock absorber.

Infections like dental caries might involve the pulp easily which will inflict pain

Common dental problems involving Dentin.

  • Patient may complain of sensitivity in the tooth if caries progresses from enamel to dentin as the junction between enamel and dentin is a  hypersensitive zone.
  • Patient may complain of difficulty in tasting hot or cold foods or even plain water.
  • Any  injury or fall may fracture the enamel and expose the dentin and end result is hypersensitivity.


  1. If  sensitivity is the only problem then nothing to worry your tooth is in the prevention category. you can get a filling done which can be completed in just a single appointment and will save your wallets.
  2. Go to a dentist as soon as you feel something different when you eat hot or cold foods.
  3. See a dentist if your teeth appear flat without proper shape and if they are dark  yellowish as it might be an effect of night grinding habit.

Get a periodic dental check up done. Postponing or ignoring your dental issues will cost you nothing but just five times the charge of a conservative filling as it will invariably end up  in root canal treatment . Dont chew hard or brush for a long time as it might lead to loss of enamel and expose dentin and cause sensitivity. Negligence of these symptoms may even lead to loss of teeth.

Pic courtesy: badbreathcenter.com


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