MOUTH FACTS

Topics on this page

TEETH

THROAT

GUMS

JAWS

TONGUE

MOUTH

LIPS

THE TM JOINT

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Teeth

  • The tooth is the only part of the body that can’t heal itself.
  • Bones are not the hardest substance in the human body - tooth enamel is. However, using your pearly whites to open bottle caps is not recommended!
  • You can only see 1/3 of your tooth. The other 2/3 is hidden under your gums.
  • Tooth decay is the second most common disease, second only to the common cold. (probably THE most common chronic disease)
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Throat

  • The vocal cords in our throat helps in forming speech.
  • Because air and food both pass through, it is considered to be part of both the digestive and respiratory systems.
  • Located at the back and sides of the mouth, your tonsils and adenoids are lymph nodes that help protect against infection. However, both generally serve little purpose beyond childhood.
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Gums

  • Prevalence of gingivitis in dentate (having teeth) adults range from  approx. 50-100%! This makes it one of the most common dental problems adults face. It often develops slowly and painlessly. 
  • People who smoke are 2-7 X more likely to develop gum disease.
  • Healthy gums and bone hold teeth firmly in place. Gums attach to teeth just below the edge of the gums. Gum disease affects the attachment between gums and teeth.
  • Gum disease begins with plaque. Plaque is clear and sticky and contains germs (or bacteria). So, it is really important to remove plaque  every day by brushing and flossing
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Jaw

  • A sore jaw combined with arm / chest pain can signal a heart attack – especially in women.
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Mouth

  • The human mouth contains more bacteria than there are people on Earth.
  • Due to high vascularity, the mouth is one of the fastest healing parts of the body.
  • For the same reason, patients suffering from angina (a heart condition) are required to place their medication under the tongue for fast action when suffering from pain.
  • Your mouth can tell a lot about the health of the rest of your body including other diseases.
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Tongue

  • A tongue contains 2,000 to 10,000 taste buds. Some die off every couple of weeks and are replaced by new ones.
  • The tongue is made up of eight muscles
  • Spicy “taste” is not really a taste and the sensation is not carried by taste buds - it is a form of “pain” and is carried by the pain conducting mechanism.
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Lips

  • Lips get thinner as you age.
  • Your lips have prints just like your fingers. No two pairs are the same.
  • Your blood makes your lips look red or blue
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TMJ

  • Unique by virtue of being two joints working as one
  • Attaches the lower jaw to the skull.
  • TMJ disorders can cause pain in the muscles that control jaw movement as well.
  • TMJ pain can also be felt in the neck, ear, face, and can even cause migraine.
  • Bruxism / teeth grinding can cause TMJ pain
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