Keeping your teeth and gums clean gives you more than a pretty smile. Your oral health influences your bodily health, so having a healthy smile can support a healthy body–not to mention your self-confidence!
Getting regular oral examinations with your dental practice in Asheville can help you take the best possible care of your teeth and gums. Often, oral health problems don’t show any symptoms early on, which can lead to damaged teeth and gums without you knowing.
But although your dentist is an expert on teeth, how much do you really know about your oral health? Here are five interesting facts you should know!
Your Mouth Is Home to Over 6 Billion Bacteria (But Not All of Them Are Bad!)
A whopping six billion bacteria reside in your oral cavity. There are several hundred species of these bacteria, but the good news is that not all of them are bad. Some are there to help your smile and others can hurt it. Keeping your teeth and gums clean encourages good bacteria to do their jobs and keep the bad bacteria at bay!
Surprisingly, the bacteria in your mouth have been found in other places in the body, including in arterial plaque as well as in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This indicates that your oral health can influence bodily disease, although the complete picture isn’t yet clear.
You can keep your oral bacteria in balance by brushing and flossing your teeth every day, visiting your dentist for regular dental services in Asheville, and eating more fruits and veggies—research shows these high-fiber foods may help prevent oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease. As a bonus, most of them have a high water content, which can also help keep you hydrated and prevent bad breath!
Each Tooth Has 3 Layers
Your teeth are living tissues that require nutrients to stay healthy. Each tooth has three separate layers to keep it strong and protected against damage.
The inner layer of your tooth, which is actually more of a chamber, is called the pulp. This is where all the nerve tissue of your tooth resides to keep the tooth supplied with blood. If decay reaches this part of the tooth, you’ll most likely need root canal therapy or an extraction to fix the problem.
The next layer, called dentin, is a solid layer that protects the inner chamber. Dentin rests between the outer layer of your teeth, called tooth enamel, and the pulp.
Your tooth enamel is the hard, shiny substance over your teeth. It gives teeth a translucent appearance, but it also protects them. Typically, when a cavity starts, the enamel is the first layer to be damaged.
Once the decay gets through to the dentin, you’ll typically see tooth discoloration and experience tooth sensitivity. This is why early tooth decay typically doesn’t cause any symptoms—the enamel is protecting your tooth until the cavity progresses to the next layer.
Tooth Enamel Is the Hardest Substance in the Human Body
You know that tooth enamel protects your teeth, but did you know that it’s actually the hardest substance in the human body? It’s stronger than bone and consists of 96% minerals, which helps it resist damage.
That being said, tooth enamel can still be damaged, especially by harsh acids and bacteria over time. This damage typically occurs from lack of proper oral hygiene, drinking acidic beverages such as alcohol, juice, and soda, and eating a diet lacking in nutrients.
As tooth enamel wears away, the next layer, dentin, can begin to show through. Dentin is naturally a more yellow color and may cause teeth to appear discolored. This leads many people to seek cosmetic dentistry in Asheville.
Once tooth enamel is gone, it can’t be replaced, so you’ll have to manage the damage as best you can with help from your dentist!
Your Mouth Produces a Quart of Saliva Every Day
Many people don’t realize that their saliva plays a vital role in protecting their teeth from decay. Saliva bathes teeth in nutrients, helping to prevent acids and bacteria from causing tooth enamel damage, and preventing dry mouth and bad breath.
Producing enough saliva to protect your teeth is important—but did you know your mouth produces, on average, a quart of saliva daily? The normal range is between half a quart and a quart and a half. That’s a lot of saliva—it adds up to be about 10,000 gallons in a lifetime!
If you experience chronic dry mouth or bad breath, you may not have enough saliva to protect your teeth. Staying hydrated, getting regular oral examinations with your dentist in Asheville, and taking care of your teeth and gums can help prevent damage caused by lack of saliva.
Crooked Teeth Aren’t Just an Aesthetic Issue
Millions of people around the world have crooked or misaligned teeth. For some people, these teeth don’t bother them, but for others, crooked teeth can affect their self-confidence.
Although getting crooked teeth fixed may not seem like a priority, the truth is that misaligned or crowded teeth have the ability to affect how well you’re able to clean your teeth and gums. They can cause unusual plaque and bacteria buildup, which can increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
This makes cosmetic dentistry in Asheville about more than just having a beautiful smile. Getting cosmetic dentistry services can help straighten your teeth, correct an improper bite, and ensure your teeth aren’t just attractive, but healthy as well.
Most people will qualify for cosmetic dentistry, and you have a lot of options for correcting the alignment, bite, color, and appearance of your smile!
Learn More Interesting Facts by Visiting Us!
What else don’t you know about your smile? Learn more about your teeth and gums by visiting us at Saunders DDS for your dental services in Asheville. Our team is happy to serve you and your family with all your oral care needs. Make an appointment with us by calling (828) 277-6060, or use our contact form to request a specific appointment time!