The mouth can be a strange, dark place. We put food into it and somehow, through the process of chewing and swallowing, that food turns into energy, allowing to do all that we do. If you’ve ever stopped to think about the average number of taste buds on your tongue, around 2-4 thousand, or that the number of bacteria inside your mouth is more than the entire human population, close to 8 billion, then you understand how strange the mouth really is. If that isn’t enough to convince you, however, then here are four more reasons to appreciate the weirdness that is your mouth.
Tooth Enamel Is Really Tough
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. One of the four major tissues that make up a tooth, the key to this tissue’s strength is its mineral composition. Much like bone, tooth enamel is comprised mostly of calcium and phosphate. According to Mohs hardness scale, human tooth enamel has a Young’s modulus of 83 GPa, which is comparable to silver.
Tongues Are Unique
The average human tongue is about 3 inches long, measured from the epiglottis (cartilage at the back of the mouth) to the tip of the tongue. Just like fingerprints, the tongue could be used in the future as a verification tool, as everyone’s tongue print is unique.
Saliva Helps Us Digest Food
Formed by several different glands located in our cheeks, below our tongue, and around our gums, Saliva is 98 percent water, two percent electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and calcium, plus mucus, white blood cells, epithelial cells, enzymes, and antimicrobial agents. Not only does saliva help keep our mouth clean, provide lubrication for food and our tongue, but enzymes found in saliva help to begin the process of digestion before food even reaches the stomach.
Our Mouth Can Tell Us About Our Health
Even though going to the dentist for your six month check up can seem like a chore, it can actually tell you a lot about your health. Our teeth have natural ridges, and when these are worn down on one side or the other, this could be a sign of bruxism or teeth grinding, which is generally caused by anxiety or increases in stress. Having too many cavities could be a sign that you may need to change your diet to include more vegetable and less sugar. If you have gum disease or periodontitis, then you should be treated immediately. Starting as low-grade inflammation in the gums, gum disease that continues for a long time can increase your chances of serious ailments, such as heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
The mouth is a weird place that can produce 40 thousand liters of saliva during our lifetime, and can house approximately 10 thousand taste buds. Such a strange and beautiful thing should be taken care of. One of the best things you can do to take care of your mouth is seeing a dentist every six months. That way if any problems are found, they can be treated as soon as possible.
Whether you’re looking for a dental check-up or an entirely new smile, you’ve come to the right place. Please call (610) 272-0828 or contact Dental Excellence of Blue Bell to talk to Blue Bell dentist Dr. Ken Siegel.