Your mouth is amazing! Its various components work together to help you speak clearly, smile brightly, and eat all of your favorite foods. How well do you know the parts of the mouth? A dentist is here to take you on a brief tour of this remarkable portion of your body. Hopefully, what you learn will provide you with a bit of extra motivation to give your smile the appreciation and care it deserves.
Lips and Cheeks
The lips and cheeks play a huge role in clear speech and your facial aesthetics. They consist of strong muscles that help to keep food and saliva in your mouth while you are chewing. The lips are also one of the most sensitive parts of the human body — they have over one million nerve endings! Even cooler, your lips are unique to you — kind of like a fingerprint.
The tongue is best known for its role in taste. It has over 10,000 taste buds on it that enable you to experience a broad range of flavors, including sweet, bitter, salty, and savory. Without the tongue, eating would certainly be a lot less fun! Of course, the tongue has other jobs to do as well. It facilitates proper chewing and swallowing, and it vital for clear speech.
Teeth and Gums
Your teeth enable you to chew food and help your jawbone maintain its shape. They consist of two main parts: the crowns, which are above the gumline, and the roots, which are anchored in the surrounding bone. A layer of enamel — which the hardest substance in the human body — protects a tooth’s sensitive inner layers. Your gums are the soft pink tissue that protect the tooth roots.
You have six glands in your mouth that produce saliva. Saliva is a remarkable liquid that contains water, minerals, proteins, and enzymes. It helps to keep your mouth clean, preventing dental decay and bad breath. It also helps to keep your mouth comfortably moist so you can speak with ease. The average person produces 2 – 4 pints of saliva in a single day!
Your temporomandibular joint, also called the TMJ, connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. It is one of the most complex joints in the body because it can move up and down, backward and forward, and from side to side. It is connected to many nearby muscles, and caring well for it can help you to avoid headaches, neckaches, backaches, and other symptoms.
Your mouth is a masterpiece of creation! Working with your dentist to keep it in the best shape possible will prove beneficial for your overall health and daily quality of life.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Erick Anderson is an experienced general dentist in the Colorado Springs area. He enjoys helping patients understand and protect their oral health through good daily habits and regular professional dental care. To learn more about Dr. Anderson and the services he offers, contact our practice at 719-593-0988.