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Discover the Different Parts of the Mouth

September 14, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drhamel @ 7:47 pm

Man looking at the part of the mouthYou probably don’t think about your mouth very often, but it’s a complex system that’s crucial to your wellbeing. Your teeth and gums are responsible for more than just a beautiful smile. They work together with other facets of your oral cavity to allow you to eat, speak, breathe, and digest foods. Here’s what you need to know about the parts of the mouth and their functions.

Lips and Cheeks

You have a total of 11 facial muscles. The buccolabial group controls movements of the mouth and lips, allowing you to speak, sing, and whistle. However, your lips and cheeks are important for more than just communication and facial expressions. They allow you to keep food and saliva in your mouth when chewing. They also guide your teeth into their proper positions and aid in breathing through the mouth.

Salivary Glands

No one wants to think about their spit, but it’s important for a healthy smile. You have 6 salivary glands that produce a clear liquid containing substances necessary to break down food. Your saliva kick starts the digestion process while also keeping your mouth moist to make speaking, chewing, and swallowing easier. Your saliva contains proteins and minerals that fight tooth decay and gum disease. On average, you produce 2 to 4 pints of saliva daily, which helps cleanse your mouth in between brushing and flossing.

Teeth, Gums, and Alveolar Bone

Each tooth is composed of three layers: the enamel, dentin, and pulp. The hard outer layer you see in the mirror is your enamel, which protects the softer dentin and pulp. The tooth structure extends below your gum tissue, where the alveolar bone stabilizes the roots. The gum tissue protects the roots from decay while also supporting your teeth. Each tooth is essential for chewing a variety of foods to maintain a balanced diet. Your teeth also give your face its shape while also allowing you to pronounce words clearly.

Temporomandibular Joint

Your temporomandibular joint is located on either side of your face, connecting your lower jaw to your skull. It allows you to open and close your mouth and move your jaw from side to side. These movements are vital for speaking, eating, and swallowing. The joint works along with your facial muscles and ligaments to create harmony with your oral functions.


Your tongue is a very powerful muscle that allows you to swallow, chew, speak and taste food. You have around 10,000 taste buds in your mouth, which are sensory receptors. You’re able to distinguish between certain tastes, like sweet, salty, or bitter.

Your mouth is an interesting place. You can protect your smile by committing to your oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist at least twice a year.

About Dr. Andrew Vita

Dr. Vita earned his dental degree at the Dental College of Georgia before continuing his training in advanced treatment processes. He strives to improve a patient’s overall wellness using proven methods. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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