Your mouth is one of the fascinating parts of your body that you use for the majority of the day. Yes, you use your mouth from breathing to eating to communicating and socializing with other people, but you probably go through your day without giving it much thought.
Every day, you brush and floss your teeth, but do you know what is really going on in your mouth? Brace yourself as we are about to share several strange and surprising facts about your mouth.
- You spend more than 2 months brushing your teeth in your lifetime
The total days you spend brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day, every day for the rest of your life is between 70 to 80 days.
- Your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint
Dental records are often used by detectives to identify bodies. The way a person’s teeth rest in his mouth is completely unique — even for identical twins.
- Your tongue also has a unique print
The tongue print includes the size, shape, and texture of the tongue. Its wrinkles, ridges, marks, and fissures are one-of-a-kind features that make your tongue different from other people’s.
- The tongue is the only muscle in your body that works without any skeletal support.
- 15% of the world’s population does not have the ability to curl their tongue to form a tube.
- The mouth has about 70 different strains of bacteria
Your mouth is home to millions of naturally occurring bacteria that don’t harm your health. However, poor dental hygiene can increase the population of bad bacteria, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. While there are 70 different strains of oral bacteria, Streptococcus mutans (S.mutans) is known for causing serious damage to teeth. It feeds on carbohydrates and sugar, turning them into acid, which weakens and eats up the enamel, causing tooth decay.
- Ancient people used to believe that worms cause toothache
Hundreds of years ago, people used to believe that tooth cavities are caused by worms that bore holes into the teeth. The movement of the worms inside the teeth can cause pain. However, modern studies have debunked this misconception and that poor dental hygiene is the root cause of cavities and toothaches.
- A clean tongue helps reduce serious health problems
Using a tongue scraper or toothbrush helps clean your tongue and prevent various health issues like cardiovascular problems, respiratory disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, premature births, and impotence.
- The tongue needs saliva to taste
Your tongue has about 10,000 taste buds. The saliva helps dissolve the food molecules to enable the tongue to taste. Only then can the taste buds receptors detect the chemicals in our mouth.
Bonus fact: Our body produces about 37,854 litres of saliva in our lifetime. This is enough to fill two swimming pools.
- Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body
Surprisingly, the bones are not the hardest part of your body — the tooth enamel is. While the enamel is harder than the bones, it can break much easier and does not heal like your bones. It has a 5-point score on the Mohs hardness scale, making the enamel the hardest biological material.
- Kissing can be beneficial
Kissing increases the production of saliva in the mouth, helping wash away bacteria and plaque.
- You only see two-thirds of your teeth
Your teeth are like icebergs — only two-thirds of your teeth can be seen in your mouth and the other one-third lies below the gum line. That is why you must practice proper oral hygiene to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy.
- The cause of canker sore is a mystery
Scientific studies have yet to determine the root cause of these painful lesions. However, medical professionals believe that certain factors, such as poor nutrition, stress, bacteria and viruses, hormonal changes, food allergies, and a weakened immune system, can contribute to the development of canker sores.
- Metallic taste in the mouth can indicate a serious illness
The metallic taste in your mouth is not always caused by oral infection. If the inside of your mouth tastes metallic, it could indicate a problem in your liver, kidney, or heart.
- A dry mouth may be a sign of a serious health problem
Medication is one of the most common causes of dry mouth. However, dry mouth can also stem from a serious health condition, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes dry eyes and mouth. The complications of Sjogren’s extend beyond your salivary glands. Other dry mouth causes include rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, diabetes, and lupus.
- Green tea boosts dental health
Swapping your cup of coffee for a cup of green tea helps promote good dental health. Drinking green tea regularly can help prevent dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath due to its antiseptic properties. Several studies also claim that it reduces the risk of oral cancer.
- The mouth is the mirror of your overall health
Researchers studying the association between dental health and inflammation have discovered that any mouth-related disease can have an impact elsewhere in the body. Inflammation, the body’s natural response to infection, has an important role in various health conditions, such as heart disease, periodontal disease, and diabetes.
- Your teeth have life
The roots have nerves and blood vessels that supply blood to your teeth to keep them healthy and alive. The teeth can also die when it does not receive a fresh supply of blood. One of the first signs of a dying tooth is discolouration.
- Mouthwashes can harm your teeth
Mouthwashes do not discriminate when it comes to killing good and bad bacteria in your mouth. Long-term use of mouthwash disrupts the microbiome in your mouth, causing damage. However, therapeutic mouthwashes help promote good oral health. Make sure to ask your dentist which mouthwash is best for you.
- Breathing through the mouth is not good
There are many reasons why mouth breathing is bad and can lead to various dental health problems. Mouth breathing can cause facial deformities or crooked teeth in children, while it can cause gum disease and bad breath in adults.
- Your dominant hand dictates your chewing habit
People who are right-handed tend to chew their food on their right side while left-handed people chew on their left side.
How to Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are the basics of dental health. However, it takes more than the basics to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. Here are several oral care musts for a healthy mouth.
- Count the years
Some children and senior patients fail to have their dental health checked regularly. No matter what your age is, it is important to have your teeth and gums checked regularly.
As soon as your child reaches 1 year old, you should bring them to a trusted dentist near you. Since children are more prone to cavities, teach them proper dental health care.
Brushing and flossing may be challenging to many senior individuals due to arthritis. An electric toothbrush is the best solution for this. Additionally, older people have lesser saliva production, which puts them at risk of tooth decay., which makes it all the more important for them to see a dentist.
- Ditch the soda
Fizzy drinks contain phosphoric acid and citric acid that weaken and eat away the enamel of your teeth. Although drinking soda in moderation does not hurt your teeth, a can or more every day can make your teeth susceptible to cavities. Make sure to swish water after drinking to wash away the acid or better yet, switch to water instead.
- Use the right toothbrush
Dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Replace it immediately after 2 to 3 months or when you start to notice damage to the bristles. This can prevent injury to the teeth and gums.
- Practice proper brushing technique
You brush your teeth at least twice a day, but have you given much thought to the correct brushing technique? To brush your teeth properly, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointed toward your gum line. Brush each tooth gently 10 to 15 times, using short, circular motions. Avoid brushing your teeth aggressively to prevent enamel and gum line erosion.
- Avoid smoking
Smoking has serious effects on our body, including our teeth and gums. Cigarettes contain nicotine and tar that cause teeth discolouration and erosion of the gums. Smoking creates a great environment for harmful plaque-causing bacteria that can trigger dental caries and gum infections. Smoking can also harm the gum tissue, increase the risk of tooth loss, degrade the bones that support the teeth, and even cause oral cancer.
- Visit your dentist regularly
A regular dental checkup is the most effective way to keep your oral health in good condition. Having your teeth and gums checked every 6 months, or whenever necessary, allows the dentist to detect early signs of dental problems and provide immediate treatment.
A healthy mouth means enjoying your favourite foods and feeling good about yourself. Make sure to keep these oral health care tips to ensure the health of your mouth, whatever your age.
Simcoe Smile Dental is a trusted dental clinic in Oshawa that provides excellent dental services of the highest standards to patients of all ages. From dental check-ups to braces, our team of dedicated dental professionals gives our patients our full attention to ensure personalized dental care.
Let us help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that you can be proud of for life! Give us a call today at (905) 728-2321 to book an appointment. You can also fill in our contact form and let us know your dental care needs.