12 Things You Didn't Know About Your Teeth
Most people know you should see a dentist every six to twelve months regardless of whether you have a dental issue or not. But in practice, only a few people adhere to this rule, even if you do have good intentions to go. Moreover, those who go to the dentist’s office often probably have various dental problems. Nonetheless, there are many things you may not know about your teeth, and here are 12 such facts.
Your mouth harbours about 300 types of bacteria.
Your mouth is home to over 300 types of microbes. Whenever you drink a glass of water you swallow hundreds of bacteria, and when you kiss your partner, a host of these microbes are introduced into your mouth. While some types of bacteria live and thrive in your mouth, others barely stick around.
The number of microbes in your mouth is dependent on your oral hygiene. For instance, a smoker’s mouth is likely to be home to thousands or millions of bacteria as is a mouth in a patient who does not brush his teeth.
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You don’t have to remove your wisdom teeth
There is a misconception that you have to remove your wisdom teeth at some point. But according to dental experts and scientists, this is only necessary if they are causing you problems. Aside from that, pulling out your wisdom teeth may cause further complications and damage to surrounding structures.
Teeth cannot repair themselves like other body parts
Your teeth are made from a calcified tissue known as dentine. And while cells initiate the healing process of every other body part, the enamel contains about 90% minerals. It doesn’t have lots of cells and proteins. And this explains why our teeth are unable to heal on their own. Our teeth roots may have these proteins and cells and repair themselves in case of damage, but the crown doesn’t have the same privilege. That is why you need to see a dentist whenever you have dental issues.
Anyone can get cavities
Cavities and tooth decay are quite prevalent across the globe. No one is immune to these issues. So long as you have teeth, you can get cavities; this includes infants. But with good hygiene, cavities are preventable.
Biting your nails can chip your teeth
According to the American Dental Association, biting your nails can easily chip your teeth. Anyone with this habit uses a particular set of teeth to bite their nails over and over. By doing this, you exert extra pressure on your teeth and weaken the enamel. Eventually, your teeth become susceptible to chipping.
Enamel is the hardest part of your body
Most people think that their bones are the toughest and hardest parts of their body. What you may not know is that your enamel is made up of 96% minerals. For this reason, it is tremendously resilient. No other part of body tissue has these many minerals. It is undisputedly the hardest part of your body, which explains why you have a powerful bite.
The enamel doesn’t grow, only the dentin
There is a misconception that certain kinds of toothpaste could help grow your enamel. Unfortunately, the enamel is not a living tissue. Therefore, it does not grow. That said, you cannot regrow your enamel in any circumstance. The best thing you can do is protect it from harmful elements. The same case does not apply to the dentine as it continues to grow throughout your lifetime. It may continue developing in response to attritions or tooth decay. Luckily, enamel does have the ability to repair itself through a process known as remineralisation.
Demineralisation refers to the leaching out of minerals during the decay process. If the environment is favourable, remineralisation can take place before a cavity actually develops. This process is greatly enhanced in the presence of fluoride and is rendered impossible once a cavity actually forms. A third of your tooth is hidden in your gums
When you talk about your teeth, the chances are that you are referring to the visible part that you brush. However, a significant chunk of your tooth is hidden underneath your gums. Moreover, the roots of your teeth form about 2/3 of your entire tooth.
Saliva is a strong antibacterial agent
Human saliva consists of several chemical agents that fiercely protect your mouth from harmful microorganisms. Its flushing effect is responsible for the removal of endogenous and exogenous organisms.
A thin film of saliva offers massive protection to your teeth and mouth. Some of its microbial properties kill harmful bacteria that invade your mouth instantly.
You make 10,000 gallons of saliva
Our salivary glands produce about 1-2 litres of saliva every 24 hours. The average flow rate is about 30 ml of saliva every hour when asleep and a little more when you are enjoying a meal. Over a lifetime, your mouth produces about 20,000 litres of saliva. These are equivalent to two swimming pools.
Acid is one of the biggest threats to your teeth
The enamel may be the hardest part of your body, but acid is its weakest point. It can erode your enamel beyond repair.
Usually, the acidity emanates from eating sugary foods. These are the likes of soft drinks, chocolates, cakes, and so on. Once tooth erosion occurs, you develop cavities and other unpleasant infections. The good news is that watching what you eat, practising exceptional oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly can keep most dental diseases at bay.
Your teeth are an indicator of your overall well being
Poor oral health increases your chances of getting heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. One swab into your mouth can tell a doctor what’s going on in your body. Doctors have identified underlying systemic diseases by paying attention to a patient’s saliva. If you are having a few problems with your teeth, you should seek help from your dentist. Early diagnosis and treatment of dental diseases could protect you from developing other ailments and complications. As you think about your overall health, do not overlook your oral health.
If you’ve read this piece up to this point, you now know a lot more about your teeth. With this knowledge, there is no reason why you can’t take care of your precious teeth. Part of this includes brushing and flossing, as well as not missing your regular dental check-ups.
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