November 13, 2021
A mouth consists of lips, teeth, gums, and a tongue, right? While you’re not wrong, there are actually many more components you’re unaware of. A dentist in Richardson is here to explain how the parts of the mouth work and why you should commit to better oral hygiene to ensure your smile not only looks and feels its best but also functions accordingly.
Your Mouth and Its Parts
While it’s unlikely you’ve spent much time thinking about how your mouth works, especially in conjunction with the rest of your body and overall health, it’s important you understand its purpose, parts, and how it can help or hinder your well-being. The way you speak, eat, breathe, and process the food you consume are all impacted in some way by the various parts of your oral cavity. For a clearer understanding, here is a breakdown of each of your mouth’s components:
- Lips and Cheeks: Your lips and cheeks consist of muscles that help to keep your teeth in place, allow you to breathe and speak with ease, help contain food and saliva inside your mouth, and make it possible to share facial expressions.
- Tongue: Not only is your tongue strong, but it consists of roughly 10,000 taste buds. It assists in speaking and forming sounds and syllables, eating and chewing food, swallowing, and allowing you to taste a host of good (and bad) flavors.
- Teeth and Gums: Your teeth help to create a shape to your face and are designed to tear and chew food properly while your gums help to hold your teeth in place. These soft oral tissues serve as a barrier between tooth decay and your roots. What holds your teeth in your mouth, however, is a part of your jawbone – the “alveolar bone.”
- Salivary Glands: Saliva keeps your mouth from becoming dry and helps to flush out any bad bacteria or particles that might cause decay or cavities. Also, it makes it easier to chew, swallow, and speak and can better protect your tooth enamel by neutralizing harmful acids.
- Temporomandibular Joint: Located on either side of your jaw, these joints connect to your skull and make it possible for you to open and close your mouth. You can easily chew, speak, and swallow when they function correctly. Should inflammation or misalignment occur, you could be faced with severe pain and the inability to move your jaw normally.
The Importance of Caring for Your Oral Health
The parts of your mouth must all work harmoniously if you want to avoid any serious problems. Tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), dry mouth, and even misaligned teeth can wreak havoc throughout the mouth and body. This is why it’s imperative that you pursue preventive care and practice good oral hygiene at home.
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are all essential to keeping common dental infections and diseases away, but seeing your dentist is equally as important. Their instruments and ability to catch problems early on can mitigate more serious issues, allowing your oral cavity to continue functioning as it should.
Don’t let one component of your mouth cause problems for the rest of your oral and overall health. Take care of your smile so you can still enjoy it years or even decades from now.
About the Practice
At McDougal and Richards Dentistry, we want you to enjoy a happier, healthier smile. To do this, you will need to make sure every part of your oral cavity is functioning properly. From your teeth and gums to your lips, tongue, and even your salivary glands, they all work together to ensure you can freely eat, speak, breathe, and smile. If you want to learn how you can take better care of your oral health, contact us at (972) 231-5376.
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