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The Anatomy of the Mouth and How to Care for It

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The Anatomy of the Mouth and How to Care for It

the-anatomy-of-the-mouth-and-how-to-care-for-it

The anatomy of the mouth is a complex thing. It has soft and hard tissues that make it possible for us to talk and eat. Here is a brief overview of the anatomy of the mouth and how you can specifically care for each area. 

The Anatomy of the Mouth

We know the mouth includes our teeth and tongue, but do you know what all the mouth consists of? In this article, we’ll provide you with a basic overview of the main components within the mouth. BetterHealth lists the main structures of the mouth to include:

  • Lips: These are two mobile structures that form the entrance to your mouth. Your lips mark the transition from skin to moist mucous membrane. 
  • The vestibule: The space between the soft tissues of the mouth and your teeth and gums is the vestibule. It is moist from secretions from the salivary glands. These glands are located in front of the ears and behind the angle of the jaw. 
  • Mouth cavity: Your mouth cavity has several structures. The alveolar arches (bony structures that hold the teeth) surround the mouth cavity at the front and on the sides, overhead are the hard and soft palates, and below is the tongue. The mouth cavity is moist because of the salivary glands in the floor of the mouth under your tongue. 
  • Gums: Your gums have fibrous and dense tissue that lines the alveolar arches and hugs the teeth. 
  • Teeth: Most obviously a part of your mouth is your teeth. Over your life, you’ll experience two sets of teeth: your primary (baby) teeth and your permanent teeth. 
  • Palate: The palate consists of the hard and soft palates. The hard palate is the bony roof of the mouth. Your soft palate is a fold of membrane that dangles between the mouth cavity and the back of the throat. 
  • Tongue: Your tongue consists of muscle fibers and has two portions: oral and throat. The tongue is what allows you to properly eat, speak, and swallow. 
  • Minor salivary glands: These make your saliva that keeps your mouth wet and contains enzymes to help you start the digestion process when you eat. These glands are found in multiple areas around the mouth, including the inner cheeks. 

Caring for Your Mouth 

When cleaning your mouth each day, there are a few areas that you need to focus on. Those are the teeth, gums, and tongue.

Teeth

When you brush your teeth, make sure you are taking your time to thoroughly clean the surface of each tooth. You should be holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums, gently going in circular motions to brush the surfaces of each tooth clean. However, when brushing, you don’t want to directly brush your gums, because they are easily susceptible to injury. You should be brushing your teeth when you wake up and before you go to bed, for two minutes each time. 

Gums

Your gums need to stay healthy to keep your entire mouth healthy. The key part to taking care of your gums is by keeping your teeth clean. Brushing your teeth correctly can help prevent gum infections, cavities, and even tooth loss. The University of Rochester Medical Center explains that gum disease is caused by bacteria found in plaque, which is a sticky film that forms on the teeth made up of bacteria, food, and other particles. If you don’t clean plaque from your teeth with proper brushing, it will harden and form into tartar, which can cause inflammation and infection of the gums. At this point, you will have to have help from your dentist or dental hygienist. 

Tongue

Your tongue is also a breeding ground for bacteria, and while not all bacteria is bad, when bad bacteria accumulates it can lead to further oral health conditions and even oral thrush, which is a yeast infection found on the tongue. All you have to do is gently brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth and that is enough to keep your tongue clean. 

Make an Appointment with Mountain Aire Dentistry

If you’re not sure if your mouth is properly cleaned at the moment or if you want to learn more about the anatomy of your mouth, contact our team at Mountain Aire Dentistry today for an appointment. Our team is passionate about helping you achieve optimal oral health and giving you a smile you’re proud of. Call us today: (303)-731-7755.