Beyond Teeth: What’s Inside Your Mouth?
The mouth, or oral cavity, is made up of numerous components that work together so that you can breathe, speak, eat and digest food. Following are the parts of your mouth:
- Upper and lower lips and cheeks – Lips let air into your mouth for breathing and, together with cheeks, help you speak. They also keep food and saliva in your mouth while chewing.
- Hard palate – Located at the front of the roof of the mouth
- Soft palate – In the back of the roof of the mouth
- Gums and Tongue
- The uvula – The soft tissues that hangs from the soft palate
- Tonsils – The balls of tissue on each side of the throat
- Retromolar trigone – The connective tissues that join the upper and lower jaws
- Underside of the tongue and the floor of the mouth
- Oral mucosa – The mucus lining that coats and protects the inside of the mouth
- Salivary glands – Organs that produce an enzyme that helps break down food and protects the mouth
- Frenulum linguae – The flap that connects the tongue and the floor of the mouth
- Teeth – The different kinds of teeth are incisors, canines, molars, premolars and wisdom teeth.
Keeping your mouth healthy
The moment you know your mouth well enough you will be in a better position to understand the way it works and take better care of it. The oral cavity needs special care and attention.
An oral hygiene routine that keeps all parts of the mouth healthy consists in brushing your teeth twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with dental floss. To keep those taste buds sharp, brush your tongue regularly as well.
It’s important to schedule regular dental appointments and professional cleanings, which remove the tartar and plaque your toothbrush can’t reach.
Although having a pretty smile is important to a lot of people, a healthy mouth is much more important. Keeping all the parts of your mouth in good working order won’t just ensure good dental health, but a healthy body too.