Mandible / maxilla
Histology - teeth

Topic Completed: 1 October 2013

Revised: 8 February 2019

Copyright: 2004-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Mandible maxilla histology teeth [title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 1,113
Page views in 2019 to date: 954
Cite this page: Pernick N. Normal: histology - teeth. website. Accessed August 22nd, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Composed of outer enamel adjacent to dentin and inner pulp
  • Surrounded by periodontal membrane and attached to bone by cementum
  1. Primitive oral cavity (dental lamina, derived from ectoderm) invaginates, acquires a bell shape, and ameloblasts develop along inner (concave) surface; called "enamel organ" at this stage
  2. Dental papilla, derived from mesoderm, forms within "enamel organ", is loose stellate reticulum; its outer layer matures to become odontoblasts
  3. Dental sac or follicle forms from outer layer of dental papillae / odontoblasts, which form periodontium, a fibrous sheath enveloping the tooth
  4. Inner layer of dental sac becomes cementoblasts and deposit cement over newly formed dentin, and outer layer of dental sac becomes osteoblasts and produces alveolar bone
Three phases of activity
  1. Initiation of entire deciduous dentition (first set of teeth) during second month of gestation (above)
  2. Initiation of permanent dentition (second set of teeth) and extension of dental lamina distal to dental organ of second deciduous molar
  3. After 5 - 6 years of activity, dental lamina breaks up into epithelial rests or islands that may develop into odontogenic cysts or tumors
  • From medial to lateral:
    • Incisors
    • Canines (cuspids)
    • Premolars (bicuspids)
    • Molars
  • Also called adamantoblasts
  • Secrete enamel matrix
  • Rounded, strongly basophilic structures normally within periodontal ligament
  • Similar to bone, cellular or acellular, intensely basophilic
  • Also present in other parts of skeletal system
Dental lamina
  • Epithelium with potential to develop teeth
  • Derived from primitive oral epithelium along free margin of arches of jaws
Dental pulp
  • Hypocellular, myxoid
  • Resembles myxoma but is compact and has peripheral odontoblasts
  • Radially striated due to numerous minute canals (dentinal tubules) containing cytoplasmic processes from odontoblasts
  • Resembles osteoid if tubules / canals are absent
  • Thin rods or prisms separated on cross section by concentric lines of Retzius
Nests of Serres
  • Nests of ameloblasts, cementoblasts and odontoblasts located in alveolar mucosa, due to breakup of dental lamina
  • Form dentinal matrix
Rests of Malassez
  • Nests of ameloblasts, cementoblasts and odontoblasts embedded within periodontium

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Histology of growing tooth

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Permanent teeth

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Tooth in situ

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Tooth of early fetus

Microscopic (histologic) images

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Developing tooth (odontoblast and periodontal membrane)

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