The teeth, tongue, and gum are significant players in the mouth anatomy, and each part plays an essential role. But there's more happening inside your mouth! Other factors of the mouth also play a vital function, and tooth cementum is one of these critical features of the tooth anatomy.



A human tooth comprises four different layers of tissues – Pulp, Dental, Enamel, and Cementum. But what exactly is Cementum?

What is Cementum?

Cementum is an essential component of the tooth root that plays a significant role in tooth attachment and stability. It is a calcified, hard layer of tissue that covers the dentin in the tooth’s root, providing a medium for the attachment of periodontal ligaments.

In addition, tooth cementum also serves as a protective layer for the underlying dentin. It is a barrier between the dentin and the external environment, protecting the tooth’s root from abrasion and wear.

Cementum also plays a role in tooth sensitivity, protecting and sealing dentinal tubules. Any damage to the Cementum can result in the exposure of the dentinal tubules, leading to tooth sensitivity and pain.

Furthermore, it is a critical component of the tooth root for maintaining tooth health and function. When the tooth’s root excretes cementoblast cells, the Cementum is formed slowly throughout life, which is yellow and softer than dentin. Unlike bone, tooth cementum is avascular – however, its chemical makeup is similar to bone.

What are the Different Types of Cementum?

Tooth cementum has two different types: Cellular and Acellular.

Based on a survey conducted in 2016 by the Public Library of Science, cellular Cementum contains collagen fibers (both extrinsic and intrinsic). On the other hand, the acellular Cementum only consists of extrinsic fibers. Now let’s dive deeper into the types of Cementum. Here are ten facts that you should know about the tissue, Cementum.

  • Cementum is a unique mineralized tissue.

Cementum is a mineralized tissue composed of calcium, phosphorus, and other mineral salts. It is the only tissue in the human body that can regenerate throughout life. Tooth cementum is produced by cementoblasts, a cell on the tooth’s root surface.

  • Cementum is thicker near the apex.

The thickness of the Cementum varies along the length of the root. It is thicker near the apex and thinner near the cervical line. This variation in thickness is due to its different functions in different parts of the tooth root.

  • Cementum provides a medium for periodontal ligament attachment.

Cementum acts as a medium for the attachment of periodontal ligaments. These ligaments attach the tooth to the surrounding bone, providing stability and support. Such attachments are crucial for maintaining tooth health and function.

  • Cementum can be damaged by periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a bacterial infection that affects the periodontal tissues surrounding the tooth, including the Cementum. The disease can cause the Cementum to erode and decay, resulting in tooth mobility and loss. Early diagnosis and treatment of periodontitis are critical to prevent damage to the Cementum and other periodontal tissues.

  • Cementum can repair itself.

Cementum can regenerate and repair itself, and the process is known as cementum apposition. The cementoblasts on the root surface can form new Cementum to replace damaged or already-lost Cementum. This process helps restore the attachment of periodontal ligaments and stabilize the tooth.

  • Cementum can be influenced by orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic treatment involves moving the teeth to improve their alignment and function. The teeth movement can stress the periodontal tissues, including the Cementum. This stress can cause changes in its thickness and quality. However, these changes are usually temporary and can be reversed by maintaining proper oral hygiene.

  • Cementum can be used in regenerative procedures.

Tooth cementum has been used in regenerative procedures to promote the growth of new periodontal tissues. The process involves using cementum extracts or implants to stimulate periodontal tissue regeneration.

  • Cementum is a critical component of root canal treatment.

Root canal treatment is used to treat infected or damaged tooth roots. The procedure involves the removal of the damaged or infected pulp tissue and filling the root canal with an inert material. Cementum plays a critical role in root canal treatment as it provides a seal for the root canal, preventing the entry of bacteria and other contaminants.

  • Cementum defects can be detected using imaging techniques.

Cementum defects, such as root resorption, can be detected using imaging techniques such as radiographs or cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). These techniques can provide detailed images of the root surface and help identify defects in the Cementum.

  • Cementum is a promising target for new treatments.

Cementum is a promising target for treating periodontal diseases and other periodontal defects. New therapies are being developed that target the regeneration of the Cementum and other periodontal tissues.

Bottom Line

Here are the ten critical facts about tooth cementum, one of the most crucial parts. Being an essential part of your teeth, you must take extra care to ensure no significant damage arises. Buckle up to start your new oral care regime care, and keep smiling beautifully!

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

MSc Implantology, Bonn University, Germany