At the bottom of the mouth and extending from the floor is a group of muscles called the tongue. The top of the tongue is covered by tiny bumps that contain the tastebuds, called the papillae. Our tastebuds can sense sweetness, saltiness, sourness, and bitterness.
Salivary glands, as the name suggests, are glands that secrete saliva or spit. These glands can be found on the floor of the mouth, under the tongue, and the walls of the mouth. Saliva is useful in digesting. It moistens the mouth to make chewing and swallowing easier and contains enzymes that break down food as well.
Parts of a Tooth
Just like the mouth, the parts and types of teeth also show that tooth and mouth anatomy are strategic and functional for digestion and communication. As humans, we develop two sets of teeth. The first set of 20 deciduous teeth start developing before birth and start falling out around the age of 6. These teeth are also called baby, milk, primary, or temporary teeth. After this, a set of 32 permanent teeth grow in as secondary or adult teeth.
Types of Teeth
At the very front are the four incisors at the top and four at the bottom. Incisors are sharp teeth that often look very angular or square-like. Their purpose is to cut food through biting.
On either side of the incisors are sharp teeth called canines. They’re usually pointed and act as teeth that help pierce food better than the incisors with the upper ones being called cuspids or eyeteeth.
A bit further to the back are the premolars or the bicuspids that grind and mash food. There are four pairs of premolars situated on either side and of either jaw.
Behind the premolars are 12 molars that come in threes. These are called the first, second, and third molars and what they do is chew food to even finer and smaller pieces. The third molars, sometimes called wisdom teeth, could be removed because they could crowd out other teeth and cause problems like pain or infection.
Regardless of their type, the parts of each tooth remain the same. Each tooth has an outer layer called the enamel, which is the hardest material in the body, to allow for the teeth to be strong enough to chew. The dentin is the layer that follows as you go inwards, this makes up the main part of the tooth and causes the yellowish tint of teeth.
Housed in the dentin is the pulp where the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth are located. This is usually where you feel “ngilo” or tooth sensitivity because the nerves and blood supply are part of the pulp. The pulp chamber is found in a bundle at the crown of your tooth and flows down into the root canal that is housed at the bottom part of the tooth and within your gums.
At the very bottom and housed in your gums is the root of each tooth which secures it firmly into the jaw. It’s covered by a layer of cementum, which is similar in material to the dentin because it’s as hard as bone.
Every part of your mouth and even each layer of your tooth is there to help you smile, speak, and eat well. By brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist, you can take care of your mouth to make sure that the tooth and mouth anatomy work and serve their purpose to the fullest!
Learn more about Oral Health here.
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