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Exploring the Different Parts of the Mouth and Their Functions

January 11, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drshah @ 10:49 pm
woman showing the different parts of the mouth

In your quest to maintain the best oral health possible, you may not be sure where to begin. You can start by gaining an understanding of the different parts of the mouth and how they operate. Thus, you’ll get a picture of why excellent dental care is so important. Continue reading to learn about the basic anatomy of your mouth and how to prevent dental issues!

Lips and Cheeks

In addition to giving shape to your face, your lips and cheeks have other important jobs. With the aid of powerful muscles, the lips let air into your mouth for breathing and, along with the cheeks, help you speak. The contraction of the muscles also helps to keep food and saliva in your mouth while you chew.


The tongue facilitates chewing, swallowing, speaking and tasting food and beverages. It’s lined with around 10,000 sensory receptors (called tastebuds) that allow you to enjoy eating or drinking delicious items.

Teeth, Gums and Alveolar Bone

Your teeth do much more than allow you to flash a gorgeous smile. They are covered by a hard material called enamel that helps you chew and speak, while protecting the sensitive inner parts and gums from damage. The teeth are anchored into the jawbone through their roots. They are further stabilized by the alveolar bone, which surrounds the roots. The gums provide a safe place for tooth roots and underlying bone to protect them from decay.

Salivary Glands

It takes six salivary glands to produce the clear fluid known as saliva. Comprised mostly of water, saliva helps to break down food to begin the digestive process, and it helps to keep the mouth moist, which aids in speaking, chewing and swallowing. The moisture also helps to flush away bacteria that could eventually develop into plaque. It’s important to drink enough water to help maintain a healthy amount of saliva, which should be around two to four pints a day.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

The TMJ is located on both sides of your face, just in front of the ear lobes. It has the important role of opening and closing your mouth and moving the jaw forward and side to side. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to eat or speak. When the joints become inflamed, there can be intense facial pain and difficulty performing normal tasks.

Maintaining Balance

The quality of your dental care will play a significant role in maintaining the different parts of your mouth. This should include brushing and flossing at least two times a day and visiting a dentist in Pantego every six months for preventive care. At each appointment, the dentist will check for any signs of problems, so they can be addressed as soon as possible. Taking a proactive approach to your oral health will ensure that all your mouth’s vital parts are functioning well for years to come!

About the Author

Dr. Prachi D. Shah earned her dental degree from the New York University College of Dentistry. She has been offering superb dental care for over a decade, yet she still strives to expand her knowledge by taking continuing education courses annually. Dr. Shah helps patients maintain excellent oral health at South Arlington Dental Care, and she can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through her website.

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