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TOOTH (שֵׁן, H9094; ὀδούς, G3848). A small, hard body fixed in a dental socket, technically called an alveolus, in either of the jaws. It serves to seize, cut, tear and grind nutritious substances. In general a tooth has the shape of an irregular cone. In a child there are twenty deciduous or milk teeth. In the adult the teeth are thirty-two in number: sixteen in each jaw, namely, four incisors, two canines, four bicuspids and six molars. The crown of the tooth is the part that appears outside the dental socket. Within the crown is a central pulp cavity containing blood vessels and nerves. When injury occurs to this pulp cavity, toothache often results. Proverbs 25:19 in referring to a broken tooth would seem to imply that a toothache may follow the breaking off of a significant portion of the tooth through exposure of the pulp cavity. Very hard compact tissue called dentine surrounds the pulp cavity. This in turn is covered with a vitreous material called enamel. The teeth are not covered by true skin. It was doubtless the relatively thin layer of enamel on the surface of the tooth to which Job made reference when he said, “I have escaped by the skin of my teeth” (Job 19:20).

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