What do normal teeth look like? Well, it’s more complicated than you think!

How can we know the condition of our own teeth? Actually, by looking at your teeth, you can largely tell how normal they are. If you have just a little knowledge of tooth anatomy, you can notice any anomaly by seeing it. In cases where just looking with the naked eye will not give us enough coverage, there is the opportunity of examining deeper with the help of technologies such as X-ray.

Everybody’s teeth structure is different and many people also show abnormalities related to their teeth structure. So, we inevitably ask the question: what do normal teeth look like?

In this article, our goal is to examine what do normal teeth look like to bare eye and how should they look when viewed together with the surrounding tissues or under x-rays. You can turn on your phone’s flash and go in front of the mirror. We’re starting.

What do four types of teeth look like?

All our teeth are not the same. In fact, if you divide your mouth symmetrically into two lobes, each tooth in each lobe will be different from the others in the same lobe. Each one can be longer, shorter, pointed, or wider than others. This is because each one of them has evolved to perform a different function. So what do these adult teeth look like? Scientists group these teeth into four basic groups. These are: incisors, caninces, premolars, and molars.

As the name suggests, incisors are our cutter teeth. They are at the forefront. The canines that follow right behind are the piercing ones. There are also the premolar teeth that we call transitional, it situates between the piercing and chewing teeth. We will now examine the basic formal features of these four tooth types.

What do incisors look like?

The incisors are your front teeth. There are 8 in total; 4 in the lower jaw and 4 in the upper jaw. Those in the center are called central incisors, and those on the sides are called lateral incisors. Thanks to their wide and thin tips, they are effective in cutting and tearing food. Their shape is chisel-like.

What do canines look like?

Canine teeth are located on the right and left, framing the incisors. There are 4 in total; 2 in the upper jaw and 2 in the lower jaw. As our sharpest teeth, they have a single-pointed tip. It is our teeth that take on the piercing function. They allow us to pierce and shred things that we bite or try to cut.

What do premolars look like?

The premolars are the transitional teeth located between the canine teeth and the molars. There are 8 in total; 4 in the lower jaw and 4 in the upper jaw. They have a thicker and wider structure than canine and incisor teeth. They also have two to three cusps. Because the premolar teeth are wider, they are effective in grinding and chewing functions. There are no premolars between the baby teeth of infants.

What do molars look like?

Our molars are the widest and thickest teeth in our mouth. They are the masticators. We chew and grind using them. There are 12 in total; 6 in the lower jaw and 6 in the upper jaw. They should have four to five cusps.

What do normal wisdom teeth look like?

Wisdom teeth can be a real pain in the neck for many people. It is in actuality an evolutionary flaw in human biology. So don’t feel bad about it. These troublemakers are the teeth that are located at the back of the jaw. They begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. There are two at the top and two at the bottom, four in total. These teeth are actually the third molars of adults. They have a thick crown and a large surface and they have 4 or 5 cusps.

Their roots are fused with each other. They’re larger in size than the other teeth in the upper jaw, and they have a triangular crown with a deep central fossa to which multiple irregular fissures join. In the lower jaw, wisdom teeth are smaller than adult molars. Their crown usually contains four or five cusps with an irregular fissure and takes a rounded rectangular shape.

What do normal bottom teeth look like?

Our lower teeth should be aligned in a way that protects our tongue. In a normal bite, when you close your teeth, your upper and lower teeth should fit together so as to include no gap. The lower teeth are positioned slightly behind the upper teeth. However, it should not create a serious gap. For this reason, the upper teeth are more vulnerable to external impacts. The lower teeth should be protected by the upper teeth that sit slightly in front of them. The teeth should not look severely in different directions. This condition is called misaligned teeth and is considered an abnormal condition.

In addition, the lower incisors are smaller than the upper incisors. The upper incisors are wider, while the lower incisors have a narrower appearance.

What do normal teeth and gums look like?

Gums are the name of the structure that supports our teeth and forms a large part of our oral tissue. It is a soft tissue. It is not flexible and loose like your cheeks or other soft tissues. Gums are the supportive tissues of teeth alongside jawbones. Our tooth roots are embedded in our jaw bones. Both the bones and the bottom of the teeth are surrounded by the gums. Gums should be tightly attached to the teeth. So there should not be gaps between teeth and gums. Gum line may vary slightly from tooth to tooth.

Depending on the skin color of the person and the melanin ratio, the tone of the gingival color may differ. However, this scale is limited to various shades of pink. Other colors may indicate health problems. For example, red and swollen gums can be a sign of gum disease, which is the result of bacteria and plaque buildup. It is usually accompanied by bleeding. In such a case, it’s best to consult your doctor.

What do normal teeth look like on an x-ray?

X-ray devices are the most commonly used technological imaging devices in dental examinations. Using them, dentists can notice problems in the tissues of the mouth. Because some of these are inside tissues or in hard-to-see places, they can only be viewed with the help of such devices. For example, thanks to these devices, we can see how deep a bruise goes and whether it reaches the pulps.

Our teeth consist of 3 separate layers. The texture density and mineral density of each of them are different. Therefore each will have a different and distinctive appearance when viewed from an X-ray.

  • Enamel:
    The outermost layer is the densest and hardest layer. It’s called tooth enamel. The mineral density in the enamel layer is quite high. So it should appear in a fairly light white color unless there is a tooth decay on it. 
  • Dentin:
    The layer below the enamel is dentin. this is a softer tissue compared to enamel. However, it is still denser and harder than other tissues. It appears darker in color than enamel.
  • Pulp:
    Pulp is a very soft tissue. The pulp is located in the innermost part of the tooth. It is also the layer that contains nerves and blood vessels. Therefore this layer appears quite dark on x-ray.

What do children’s normal teeth look like?

Baby teeth differ from adult teeth. So if you’re about to examine your kids’ teeth, it will be better to know the following.

As a baby begins to grow, the twenty milk teeth in his jaw begin to emerge one by one. Although it varies for each child, it is generally seen that the first milk tooth erupts in 6 to 12 months old babies. In these milk teeth, teeth are diversified as incisors, canines, and milk molars. Same in the upper and lower teeth; central incisors, lateral incisors, canines, first molars, and second molars. Unlike adult teeth, there are no premolar teeth in kids.

The middle incisors are in pairs. The lateral incisors are located to the right and left of the central incisors. The incisors in the lower and upper jaws are usually 9-10mm; middle cutters have a width of 6-7mm. The canines come out as one next to the lateral incisors. The ends are pointed and have the function of plucking. Next to the canines, it is observed that the first molars (which will be premolars in adulthood) come out first and the second molars (which will be molars in adulthood) come out last.

They differ from each other in structure. The process of eruption of milk teeth is usually completed when the child is three years old. Milk teeth have a brighter and whiter appearance than permanent teeth. Here are their eruption and falling times:




Upper central incisors

8-12 months

6-7 years

Upper lateral incisors

9-13 months

7-8 years

Upper canines

16-22 months

10-12 years

Upper first molars

13-19 months

9-11 years

Upper second molars

25-33 months

10-12 years

Lower central incisors

6-10 months

6-7 years

Lower lateral incisors

10-16 months

7-8 years

Lower canines

17-23 months

9-12 years

Lower first molars

14-18 months

9-11 years

Lower second molars

23-31 months

10-12 years


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