Clinical Advice and Oral Health TipsDental NewsThe World of Teeth

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

unpleasant feeling!

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.