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What Are Teeth Useful For?

August 11, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlindsey @ 2:58 pm
young man smiling and pointing to teeth

Teeth. We all have them, and everyone knows that their primary purpose is chewing. However, have you thought about the other things they can do for you? Unfortunately, most people don’t realize the many functions they serve unless they experience tooth loss. Read on as your dentist in Ft. Collins explains the different ways your teeth can benefit your oral health and why you should take good care of your pearly whites!

Speaking

Your teeth play a key role in helping you pronounce words. While talking, your tongue and lips interact with your teeth to restrict the airflow in certain ways, giving you the ability to pronounce different consonants and vowels in your language. Although you can still technically speak without teeth, you’d have to put in much more effort to pronounce certain sounds.

Preserving Bone Structure

Chewing helps trigger your body to keep reinforcing the jawbone. When you have missing teeth, you don’t chew as often, and the body can begin reabsorbing the bone material. Since that causes the bones to become smaller and less dense, it can increase your chances of fractures and even make you ineligible for certain dental procedures. Plus, these bones support the muscles we use for facial expressions, meaning their loss can significantly impact your appearance.

Producing and Holding in Saliva

Did you know that your teeth form a barrier to keep saliva in your mouth? If you don’t have teeth, your lips are all that’s used to hold in saliva, meaning you have to pay more attention to stop it from coming out. Also, your pearly whites can help foster adequate saliva production because chewing stimulates the salivary glands. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy mouth by washing away food particles, bacteria, and harmful acids.

Smiling

If you have missing teeth, you might feel self-conscious every time you smile or speak. As a result, lack of smiling can make you feel less happy, meaning one can argue that teeth are also useful for promoting happiness.  

Preventing Oral Health Problems

People with missing teeth are at an increased risk of several oral health problems. That’s because chewing food using only your gums can lead to gum disease and temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders. Also, being unable to chew normally can lead to nutrient deficiencies since it’s difficult to break down food into particles your body can easily absorb. Thus, a lack of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes can lead to health complications.

As you can see, your pearly whites are useful for many things. By practicing good oral hygiene and following a healthy lifestyle, you can ensure your smile stays full and healthy for years to come!

About the Author

Dr. Shiloh Lindsey completed dental school as valedictorian at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry in 1999. She is passionate about giving her patients exceptional, state-of-the-art, individually tailored dental care. If you have missing teeth, Dr. Lindsey can rebuild your smile with dentures. You can enjoy a fully functioning grin in no time! Visit our website or call (970) 482-3166 to schedule an appointment.

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