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March 11, 2018

An Oral Anatomy Lesson from Your Dentist in Rockland County

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_auster @ 8:13 pm

A woman thinking. The mouth, also known as the oral cavity, is made up of many moving and complex parts. In order to thoroughly examine and clean your mouth, your dentist in Rockland County had to spend many years studying, researching, and understanding how all these components work with one another and make the most basic tasks possible. Each area of your mouth has a special role to play, and without them, you would not be able to perform these tasks.

Today, we’ll be going through the basic anatomy of your oral cavity to help you understand why it’s so important to take good care of it. This list will include the tongue, lips, cheeks, bone, teeth, gums, and salivary glands.

The Tongue

This powerful muscle allows you to perform many important functions, such as chewing, swallowing, tasting, and speaking. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to perform any of these functions properly. It also contains sensory receptors (you know them as taste buds) to enjoy the foods you eat. The average person has 10,000 taste buds on their tongue and on other areas of the mouth. They can be separated into four categories, including:

  • Salty
  • Sweet
  • Bitter
  • Savory

The Lips and Cheeks

Your lips are also a muscle that let you make facial expressions, kiss your loved ones, and allow air into your mouth. They help you speak by working with your cheeks and without them, you wouldn’t be able to keep food or your saliva in your mouth. Cheeks also work to keep your teeth in their proper position.

The Teeth, Gums, and Alveolar Bone

The teeth consist of many parts, but the most basic parts include the:

  • Enamel – The outer and hardest part of the tooth as well as the hardest substance in the human body.
  • Dentin – A layer of tooth underneath enamel. Decay attacks this after it’s made its way through the enamel, likely causing tooth sensitivity.
  • Pulp – The soft tissue in the center of teeth where nerve and blood vessels are. If decay reaches here, you’ll start to feel pain.

Teeth also consist of roots that anchors the crown into your jaw. The alveolar bone surrounds the roots and keeps your tooth stabilized while chewing foods. Gum tissue also works to hold it in place and protects the roots from bacteria. Without all these components working together and staying healthy, you won’t have a smile to show off according to your dentist in Rockland County!

The Salivary Glands

The six salivary glands are designed to consistently produce saliva in your mouth, especially while you eat. Saliva consists of mainly water, but also electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds, and various enzymes. Saliva works to:

  • Help you speak
  • Begin the digestive process
  • Chew
  • Swallow
  • Wash away bacteria
  • Prevent cavities and gum disease
  • Protect tooth enamel

While many of these parts perform the same tasks, it’s the fact that they work in tandem that allows you eat, chew, and speak comfortably and effectively. If you fear any of these parts are disrupting your life due to oral disease, contact your dentist in Suffern today to schedule an appointment!

About the Author

Dr. Peter Auster has over 30 years of experience in providing high quality dentistry to patients. Today, he brings his expertise to the Rockland County and Suffern communities and his dental exams consist of catching any problems with your teeth, gums, bite, and other surrounding anatomy. To learn more about the mouth’s anatomy or about his practice, contact him at (845) 364-0400 or visit his website.

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