While we understand that brushing, flossing, and visiting our dentist is essential for good oral hygiene, we never stop to think about why caring for the areas of the mouth is so important. Sure, we need our teeth to chew foods and healthy gums to hold teeth in place, but once you start learning about all the functions our mouth is responsible for, it makes caring for them so much easier.
Today, your dentist in Cocoa Beach will go over a few of these parts.
The Teeth, Gums, and Alveolar Bone
Most people are familiar with the teeth and gums because they’re the areas your dentist talks about the most. Teeth hold a thick enamel shell that protects the sensitive pulp inside, while the gums hold teeth in place and protect the tooth roots. However, did you know that the alveolar bone surrounds the roots and stabilizes your teeth as your chew and tear foods? Sufficient alveolar bone is also needed if you intend on getting dental implants in the future.
The tongue is a very important muscle designed to aid in chewing, swallowing, speaking, and tasting the foods you love. Thanks to its thousands of taste buds, also known as sensory receptors, you can recognize flavors like salty, sweet, bitter, and savory.
Unfortunately, it’s also a sponge for bacteria and the main cause of bad breath. To prevent this, you’ll need to brush your tongue regularly to remove the biofilm that can often accumulate.
The Salivary Glands
Did you know that your six salivary glands produce between 2 and 4 pints of saliva per day? Saliva is a clear liquid that is mostly made up of water that serves many functions. It keeps your mouth moist and, like your tongue, makes it easy for you to form words and speak. It also contains many minerals and proteins that protect your enamel from decay. Salivary glands also work to wash away food particles, loose bacteria, and kickstart the digestive process. Without saliva, you wouldn’t be able to taste, talk or properly protect the other parts of your mouth.
The Lips and Cheeks
Your lips allow you to make facial expressions, let air into your mouth, and help you speak. They also work in tandem with your cheeks, which help keep foods, liquids, and saliva in your mouth while you chew. Without functioning lips and cheeks, the most basic tasks like talking and chewing will become very difficult.
The Temporomandibular Joint
This joint connects your lower mandible and skull, allowing you to open and close your mouth. It works together with your facial muscles, jaw bone, and ligaments to allow chewing, speaking, swallowing, and moving your jaw from side to side.
The mouth is a truly fascinating and complex area of the body, according to your dentist in Cocoa Beach. We hope you schedule an appointment with us soon to keep it in top condition for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Gary C. Nawrocki earned his Doctorate of Dentistry degree from the University of Florida. He’s also completed advanced dental studies at the Pankey Institute, the Seattle Institute, and the Spear Educational Institute. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (321) 783-7514 or visit his website.