Think about it: What would your life be like if you couldn’t use your mouth? Pretty lousy, because you wouldn’t be able to talk, eat or drink. Your teeth are also really important! For starters, they grind up food, which is essential for proper digestion. And the tongue? It’s imperative for speaking and eating.
People who want excellent dental care see the professionals at the office of Smiles 4 A Lifetime. We know that our patients’ expectations are just as high as ours are. Our relaxed atmosphere and gentle touch complement our excellent service.
There’s a lot to know about the mouth. Here are the basics.
It’s lined with wet mucous membranes. Its top is called the palate. That hanging thing that looks like a punching bag is the uvula. The tonsils flank the uvula. The tongue is a muscle that’s covered by teeny bumps called papillae, which have tiny pores that are our main types of taste buds that perceive bitter, sour, salty and sweet sensations. Three pairs of major salivary glands under and behind your jaw emit saliva; saliva aids in digestion, keeps your mouth moist and supports healthy teeth.
Four kinds of teeth work to efficiently break up food and get it ready to move into your stomach. Eight incisors (your top and bottom front teeth) bite into food. The four pointy teeth that flank the incisors are the canines (also called eyeteeth or cuspids). They’re good for shredding food. The four premolars (aka bicuspids) use their points and grooves to grind stuff.
Your set of permanent teeth has 12 back molars; they are also for chewing, and they’re called the first, second and third molars. The third molars are also referred to as wisdom teeth because when they erupt—at about age 16 or 17—you’re supposed to be well on your way to gaining knowledge. They’re troublemakers if they cause crowding, pain or an impacted situation. That’s why they frequently end up getting extracted.
We hope this tour was informative and educational!
A dentist is your partner in excellent oral healthcare. Everyone who comes to Smiles 4 A Lifetime knows that we use advanced knowledge and state-of-the-art equipment to achieve outstanding outcomes. Please call us today to make an appointment.
Appointments at our Manhattan office available by request. Please call (646) 863-3429 for hours and openings.