Oral Health: Turn that frown upside down and SMILE!
When oral health is heard, what comes into mind? What exactly does this term mean anyway? Let’s start off with the first word, “oral.” This word refers to the mouth including your teeth, gums, jawbone and other supporting tissues in your oral cavity. That pretty much sums up the structures that contribute to our oral health. When you think of eating food or taking medication, your mouth comes into mind. The mouth is very important because it is the first structure of your alimentary canal (human gastrointestinal tract) that receives the food you eat and produces saliva. Without a mouth (one of the main components of our oral health), how could a person enjoy the taste of their food and receive the proper nutrients and vitamins that they need?
What is the mouth capable of doing for us human beings any ways? Well our mouth is vital to this system since it plays an important role in our digestive system since it receives what we eat and also thanks to our teeth, lips and tongue we can produce words for communication. Our tongue, that light pink to light red structure in the center of your mouth is what allows us to taste. That is very important since we need satisfaction in what we eat by how they taste (sweet, salty, sour, bitter).
Our lips, the pink to red structure outside your mouth holds food into your mouth while you chew away and helps in pronunciation of words also. But wait, what is that white or slightly yellow hard substance we see when we smile? That indeed is our teeth which give our oral health a reason to shine. This structure of our oral cavity is essential for masticating (chewing) our food by the process of breaking it down into small pieces in order to swallow the food so we don’t choke on the food we’re enjoying. The process of chewing allows enzymes and other lubricants to help in the digestion of your food. Our digestive system is another major topic to tackle in another article. Let’s first focus on our oral health for now.
Let me give you a basic anatomy of our oral cavity also known as our mouth, to make it a little easier for you to picture out. The beginning of our digestive tract is our mouth. The mucous membrane on the top portion is called the “palate.” There are two types of palates, one is the bony portion called the “hard palate” and the fleshy tail part is called the “soft palate.” The hard palate serves as a divider for our nasal passages and mouth. Our soft palate then serves as a drape between our mouth and throat. The dangling structure in the back of our mouth (it’s the structure that moves back and forth when you open your mouth and say “AHH”) is called the “uvula.” Your tonsils are located at the side of your uvula and they’re what swells up during tonsillitis. The tongue is quite familiar to all of us. But why is it bumpy? These tiny bumps are called “papillae” and they are pores for our taste buds.
Here’s a good question. What’s that clear goo that leaves pillow marks when we wake up in the morning? That is our saliva which is produced by our salivary glands and contains enzymes vital for digestion of food which is vital for both our oral health and digestive system.
Another question about oral health is: why are our lips red anyways? Well, this is because of the tiny blood vessels embedded beneath them. The inner portion of our lips is connected to our gums which cover the neck of our teeth and holds it into place. Our teeth also serve an essential role in our oral health since poor dental hygiene can lead to conditions that may cause infections and rotting of the teeth. When we talk about our teeth, we develop two sets.
The first set is called milk primary, temporary and/or baby teeth. These consist of 20 deciduous (falling off at a specific time) teeth. They start developing during birth and fall off around the age of 6. Eventually, 32 permanent teeth grow in called the secondary or adult teeth.
There is a variety of types of teeth that we have. We have the dagger shaped teeth which are called “incisors” which are located at the front and there are a total of eight incisors. We also have a total of 4 “canine” teeth, also pointed, sited outside the incisors. There are a total of 8 “premolars”, teeth located between the molars and canines. A total of 8 “molars” are present in our set of teeth and they are described as flat teeth at the hindmost part of our mouth, these are the champions at grinding our food. Lastly we have our “third molars” also known as “wisdom teeth.” There are a total of 4 and these start erupting around the age of 18 but are regularly removed surgically to prevent impaction of the other teeth.
An important component to remember is good oral hygiene.
Besides feeling good about yourself and a boost in self-esteem with healthy teeth and no conditions affecting your health, good oral hygiene is vital to your overall well-being. Oral hygiene consists of your teeth being clean and not rotting; your gums are pink and aren’t hurting or bleeding when you brush your teeth and floss and also staying away from bad breath. There are natural remedies that you can use for a more refreshing breathe and whiter teeth. If you feel something abnormal happening in your mouth it is best to call your dentist to see what really is going on but before doing so, try out our natural remedies.
Daily preventive care is the key!
- Proper brushing and flossing can prevent infection that could cause common oral problems. Using dental products with fluoride is a good practice is also recommended.
- Having a balanced diet and drinking water can help in your good personal oral hygiene. That means limiting chocolates and snacks that could chip and stick to your teeth causing damage to it causing low self esteem.
- By following these simple preventive instructions could avoid conditions such as mouth ulcers, oral thrush, gingivitis, halitosis (bad breath) and many more oral dilemmas.
Natural remedies that could be helpful in maintaining a healthy and clean oral hygiene could be of great help. You can learn more about those natural remedies with the other articles in the site corresponding to each body system. Natural remedies for oral health aren’t a big stab at your wallet if used on conditions that aren’t too severe. Keep in mind everything that you put into your mouth because these can cause viruses and bacteria to contaminate the inside of it therefore affecting our oral health in dangerous ways. Your lifestyle can also affect the well-being of your health. Smoking can cause gum disease while eating junk food could possible chip a tooth or rot your teeth.
Take care of your oral health and all the components that goes along with it, both the inside and the outside of it. Nobody wants to have oral problems because it does lower self-esteem since it is on your face and it may cause discomfort which could possibly cost you a lot of money to deal with. Remember: A healthy mouth is a happy mouth!