Your mouth is more than just teeth. Inside, it is a made up of many things that work together to keep
you healthy! This includes the obvious, like your tongue and gums, but also some other (perhaps
stranger-sounding) components such as your salivary glands and your uvula. So what are all these
different parts and what exactly do they do?
Your tongue is not just for sticking out at people! It is a strong muscle that is incredibly important to a
lot of our vital needs, such as chewing, swallowing, and talking. It is also the home of thousands of taste
buds which allow you to enjoy (or maybe hate!) the things you are eating and drinking.
Your gums, also called gingiva, are the fleshy parts that surround your teeth. They are bound very tightly
to your teeth which helps to block bacteria from getting near the deeper tissue. It is important to keep
your gums healthy with gentle brushing and flossing techniques; your gums should be a light pink
colour, not bright red!
Your salivary glands are what produce all that saliva – you probably call it spit – in your mouth. But they,
and your saliva, have a much bigger role than just being used for spitting! Saliva keeps your mouth moist
which helps to fight off tooth decay or gum disease. It also protects your teeth and gums from bacteria
that might cause cavities, as well as helping you speak, chew, and swallow.
If you open your mouth wide, you will see a little ball dangling at the back of your throat. This is your
uvula – a silly word but an important part of your mouth. Although the uvula is still a bit of a mystery to
some scientists, it is generally believed that it assists in speech and also helps to keep food or fluids from
sneaking up your throat into your nose. If you’ve ever had water go up your nose, you know it’s an
When you think of the dentist, you probably think about your teeth. But we want to make sure that
every part of your mouth stays healthy! Make sure to have regular appointments and keep up with all
your oral healthcare.