Believe it or not, your mouth is a complex system. It involves more than just your teeth, gums, and tongue. There are several parts of the mouth, each with unique purposes. Here are some interesting facts about your smile and how they help you throughout the day.
1. Lips and Cheeks
There are a lot of muscles in your lips and cheeks, which allow you to create several movements, such as puckering your lips. They also shape your facial expression, so people can distinguish the difference between when you’re happy or sad. Your lips are the gateway to breathe through your mouth to help you speak. Together, your lips and cheeks hold food and saliva in your mouth while you’re chewing. They even play a role in establishing a muscle guide to keep your teeth in their proper positions.
Your tongue is a powerful muscle that contributes to several daily tasks, like swallowing, speaking, and chewing. Most importantly, you can taste your food. It has over 10,000 taste buds, which are sensory receptors that allow you to enjoy sweet, salty, bitter, and savory flavors.
3. Teeth, Gums, Alveolar Bone
Your teeth have two parts: the crown and the root. The crown is covered in enamel to protect the softer inner layers. The root anchors your tooth to your jawbone while the alveolar bone surrounding them stabilizes your teeth. Your gums support your teeth and protect them from decay. Healthy teeth allow you to bite and chew properly to aid your digestion and allow the ability to pronounce certain sounds to speak. Not to mention, your teeth are the focal point of your beautiful smile.
4. Salivary Glands
Although you might view your spit as icky, the clear liquid has crucial functions. A substance found in your saliva begins the digestive process by breaking down food. It also adds lubrication to your mouth to make speaking, chewing, and swallowing easier. When you’re not eating or chatting, your saliva rinses bacteria from your teeth and gums. It contains key minerals and proteins to strengthen your enamel to lessen the risk of decay. On average, you can expect your salivary glands to produce 2-4 pints of saliva daily.
5. Temporomandibular Joint
Your temporomandibular joint is located on either side of your face, connecting your jaw to your skull. As a result, you can open and close your mouth and perform other movements. The joint works with your jawbone, facial muscles, and ligaments to create normal functions for your everyday needs.
Your mouth is a pretty interesting place. Care for your teeth and gums at home and visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup to ensure your smile lasts for a lifetime.
About Dr. Joseph Sandberg
For over 30 years, Dr. Sandberg has provided exceptional dental care. He earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He has completed advanced training in many specialties, like dental implants and bone grafting. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to achieve your best smile.