The mouth is the starting point of the digestive tract system. The mouth is also known as the oral cavity or the hollow cavity that allows the passage of air in and out of the body. The mouth contains other organs inside it like teeth, tongue and salivary glands; all of these organs work together simultaneously to begin the digestion process. Digestion starts in the mouth because food is broken down in the mouth by teeth in the presence of saliva. It is very important to chew food properly because it forms a large part of digestion.
The lips are like the curtain of the mouth which helps in opening and closing the mouth. The lips also facilitate in talking and protecting the gums. The lips are fleshy, flexible organs that contain a large amount of collagen and elastic fibres. The lips also control the amount of air coming in and out of the body along with the nose.
The tongue is a highly muscular organ which facilitates in swallowing and helps in talking. The phrase of calling someone a ‘’long tongue’’ is used because the tongue carries out the functions of speech. The tongue is also very essential in circulating saliva that is produced by the salivary glands.
A normal adult has 32 teeth which consist of incisors, canines, premolars and molars. Every tooth in itself has several layers:
- The crown: The crown is the top part of the tooth which determines the shape of the tooth. It is the part of the tooth that can be seen very easily.
- The gum line: The gum line as the name suggests is the line where the tooth and the gums meet. Most bacteria and plaque usually get stuck on the gum line and remain there if it is not removed by brushing and flossing.
- The root: Just like in plants, the roots hold the plants in the soil. Similarly the root of a tooth holds the tooth and keeps it in place. The root connects the teeth to the human body.
- The enamel: The enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth. It is hard and translucent in nature. The enamel is the most important part of the teeth because it protects the teeth from plaque and bacteria. The enamel layer is like the top soil. The enamel layer also protects the teeth from diseases and oral complications. It gets damaged due to acidic reactions caused by food. The enamel layer should be consciously strengthened by eating certain calcium-rich foods.
- Dentin: Dentin is the second layer of the teeth between the enamel and the pulp. When the enamel layer is removed due to acidic reactions, the dentin layer becomes exposed which causes sensitivity of teeth. This occurs because the dentin layer is very close to the nerve endings of the teeth and it is also responsible for the colour of teeth.
- The pulp: The pulp is the inner most layer of the teeth where all the nerve endings of the teeth are present. It is highly sensitive and consists of blood vessels. If in certain cases tooth decay reaches till the pulp, it can be highly painful.
Here is what it is like inside of your mouth. Did you even know there was so much happening in there? Shocking right!