We all wake up every day breathing, speaking, and eating without even thinking about it. These seamless tasks completed by your mouth are not as simple as you may think. Your mouth has various parts to it that all work together to create healthy oral functions for you every day. Understanding these parts of the mouth and how they affect you improves your oral health and knowledge of how your body works. Keep reading to learn about the parts that make up your mouth from your dentist in River Oaks.
Lips and Cheeks
Your lips and cheeks give you the ability to shape your facial expressions. The next time someone frowns or looks sad, blame their lips and cheeks. Lips also let air into your mouth for breathing, and they partner with your cheeks to help you speak. These strong muscles keep food and saliva in your mouth and ultimately help guide your teeth in their proper positions.
The tongue is a powerful muscle that helps with chewing, swallowing, speaking, and your favorite: tasting food. You have about 10,000 taste buds on your tongue and in your mouth, so you can enjoy the food you eat. When you’re eating that perfect meal later, thank your tongue for its help in tasting and consuming the deliciousness.
Teeth, Gums, and Alveolar Bone
Your teeth have hard enamel to tear and chew with roots that anchor them into your jaw. The alveolar bone surrounds your tooth’s roots to keep them stable, while your gums protect your roots from decay. Your teeth’s main function is to chew up food in a way that is digestible to your body, but your pearly whites also help you pronounce words and give your face its shape.
We’ve all seen some meat come fresh off the grill, or a beautifully made salad that makes our mouths water. This is because your salivary glands produce clear liquid, made mostly of water, to break down food and begin the digestive process. That’s why when you see enticing foods, you start to salivate because your mouth is telling you that it’s ready to eat!
Saliva also moistens your mouth, making it much easier to speak and swallow. Last but not least, the minerals and proteins found in saliva greatly aid in the protection of your teeth’s enamel from decay.
These are joints are located on both sides of your head. They work with your jawbone and facial muscles to allow you to chew, speak, swallow, and move your jaw as normal. If you have any disruption in the synchronization of this pair of muscles like arthritis, you may experience facial pain or difficulty chewing.
Now that you know all the parts of your mouth and what they do for you, you can do something for them! Keep up good oral healthcare daily to make sure all the components of your mouth are functioning the way they should.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. John Krell is a native Houstonian that comes from a long line of dentists. He takes pride in helping his patients with ultra-high-tech equipment in a state-of-the-art office. He currently runs his own practice and can be contacted by phone at (713) 877-1775 for any questions you may have.