Without your mouth, where would you be? The mouth is an essential tool used by living organisms to feed and survive. Most animals have oral cavities, even invertebrates have them. Our mouth allows us to eat and digest food and allows us to have speech. It may be a tiny thing, but a lot of important things and processes occur inside the mouth. Even microorganisms live within it. As you can see, the oral cavity moves and behaves like an ecosystem.
To help you understand the oral cavity, we have made a list of mouth and teeth facts:
There are about 6 billion bacteria in a human’s mouth.
Yes, bacteria are lurking in your mouth, and it has almost the same number as the total human population on Earth. Aside from mouthparts, the oral microbiome contains good and bad bacteria too. Some contribute to the maintenance of your mouth’s cleanliness, while some cause and create havoc in your oral cavity.
What contributes to tooth decay, tooth erosion, and gum inflammation are pathogenic bacteria. One of these bad bacteria is Streptococcus mutans. They are acid-producing microorganisms that feed on sugar found in sodas, cookies, and sweet treats we eat. The acid they produce is capable of destroying your tooth’s outer barrier, and cause tooth decay, gingivitis, and halitosis. They can also create a sticky substance that can turn into plaque. Through the use of antibacterial mouthwash, these bacteria can be eliminated.
You can lose a tooth without getting tooth decay.
Known as Periodontitis, it is a gum infection that is caused by another oral bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis. It begins to live in the oral cavity when oral hygiene is neglected. It can result in tooth loss and the loosening of teeth through the destruction of the gum tissue and the bone that holds your teeth to your jaw.
Don’t worry because there are good bacteria in your mouth too. They help lower your risk of dental diseases such as tooth decay and tooth erosion. One of these good bacteria is probiotics. They eliminate bad bacteria by removing unwanted plaque on your teeth, and germs in your gums. Through taking probiotic supplements and lozenges, your oral health, as well as the overall health of your body, are enhanced.
Just like your fingerprint, your tongue is unique.
When you look closely, you’ll notice a pattern on your tongue just like a fingerprint. No two tongue prints are the same. The tongue is very important, and one must regularly keep it clean. It is a muscular organ that enables human speech and aids in human digestion. Of course, we can distinguish different tastes because of this organ. At the back of your tongue, you will see the uvula. It is the dangling piece that prevents food from entering the nasal cavity.
We produce over 37,000 liters of saliva in our whole lifespan.
That huge amount of saliva can fill up two regular-sized swimming pools. It is an essential tool in the process of food digestion. Produced by the salivary glands, saliva contains enzymes that help break down starch found in food. It also helps in cleaning the oral cavity and helps to swallow food easier.
Your teeth are ’alive’.
Teeth have their lifespans too. They start by erupting from the gums, and then they will grow as milk teeth. After a few years, they will somehow shed, and afterward, they will regrow as permanent teeth. Once they decay and erode, their lives end at that point. Numerous blood vessels and nerves can also be found in a tooth. That is the reason why you experience that sharp sudden pain when you eat something too hot or too cold.
Your teeth are one of the primary tools in the human digestion, as they chomp down food into tiny pieces. Even though they are considered as living things, they cannot protect themselves from the harsh conditions inside your mouth. They are vulnerable to infections and diseases, most especially if you do not practice proper oral hygiene. Mouth diseases do not only affect your teeth and gums. With tooth decay and bad breath, they can also negatively influence your health and self-esteem.
Babies have a full set of 20 teeth, while adults have 32.
When an infant has smiled at you showing his cute toothless gums, you will not be able to stop yourself from smiling back. Babies have that superpower, even though you have just seen that baby on a bus or the streets. But when they reach six to eight months, their teeth will start to come out from their gums. Toothless no more, but that does not mean they are less cute. By the age of six years old, they have a full set of twenty (20) milk teeth. That is also the age when their baby teeth will fall off one at a time.
Replacing their milk teeth are the permanent teeth. That is the set of teeth they will have for the rest of their lives. When they reach twenty years old, they are expected to grow 28 to 32 teeth. That is composed of eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and 12 molars.
Your teeth are important for human speech.
Each type of tooth has a specific function. All are used to aid in the digestion of food, but some also help in enabling us to speak and enunciate several sounds.
Your front teeth, called incisors, works a food cutter, while your pointy teeth beside them, called canines, are utilized for speaking and biting food. The premolars and molars are huge teeth used for chewing and grinding food for a better digestion process.
That is a total of 28 teeth, but some people get four more molars called wisdom teeth. They usually erupt when someone is more than 20 years old already, and considered wiser than kids and teens. Hence the term wisdom teeth. Some do not experience growing these teeth, but most do. More often than not, wisdom teeth erupt towards your other molars, causing people to experience extreme pain. To remove the huge tooth, surgeries and extractions are then conducted by dentists.
Your teeth are stronger than your bones.
The most durable and most highly mineralized material in your body is not your bones. The enamel, which is the outermost barrier of a tooth, is the strongest substance in the body and protects the inner parts of a tooth from painful diseases and extreme hot and cold exposure. Tooth decay, plaque, and tartar first develop on the enamel, and when destroyed, the dentin will be exposed.
The dentin, which is the sensitive part of a tooth, is composed of nerves. It is made of soft tissue that protects the pulp cavity. When tooth decay has already reached the dentin, people experience sharp pain when they eat sweet, hot or cold foods. This is the cause of the common toothache, and people often seek professional services to extract the pain-causing tooth.
In the center of a tooth, you will find the pulp. It has all the blood vessels, nerves, pulp chambers, and root canal. The pulp becomes severely inflamed once the cavity reaches it. When this happens, dentists often conduct surgeries and operations to the root canal.
All of these diseases can be prevented if one knows how to properly clean their mouth and teeth. You cannot just rely on your mouth’s good bacteria, and bad bacteria will increase every time you consume starchy and sugary foods. Every part of the teeth and mouth are essential in the processes of the digestive system. That is why it is also important to take good care of them.
Dental Health Tips
Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months.
Brushing your teeth with an old toothbrush is like using an old and dirty sponge to clean your plate. It is unsanitary and it does not do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months and immediately replace it if you got sick with the flu.
When replacing your brush, buy one with soft bristles because hard bristles can be too harsh on your tooth enamel. Professionals recommend brushing your teeth in small gentle strokes for 3 minutes. The side-to-side motion of brushing is not advised by dentists, because it weakens the enamel rods by going against their direction.
Drinking water prevents tooth decay.
Always remember to hydrate your body. Consuming the recommended amount of water our bodies need also helps in the cleaning of our mouth and teeth. Dry mouth also lets acids destroy our tooth’s external covering. The list of hydration’s benefits is boundless.
Avoid eating citrus foods and fruits.
Citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, are proven to help in boosting our immune system. But when consumed, these foods produce acids that weaken the tooth’s enamel. Eating sweet treats also create bacteria that love to munch on starch and sugar. If not eliminated, these bacteria can turn into plaque.
Visit your dentist regularly.
Most people dread visiting dental clinics. Do not worry when you consult a dentist, he will not extract your tooth if he does not need to. Dental check-ups are important because you can prevent diseases and infections if you know how to properly clean your mouth. Dentists can help you answer your queries about dental issues and dental hygiene practices. Through regular check-ups, existing tooth problems can also be cured and stopped from creating more health issues. It is recommended that you visit your dentist every 6 months.