At your dental visit it may seem like we concentrate on your teeth and gums, and while that is true, there are other important things in there that need some attention too!
The tongue: It’s a big hunk of super-strong muscle in the middle of your mouth, and besides being fun to stick out at mean people, it plays a crucial role in digestion by moving food towards the teeth for chewing and then back to the esophagus for swallowing.
The uvula: That thing which resembles a punching bag in the back of your mouth is not 100% understood, but we are pretty sure it helps in speech, keeping the mouth and throat moist, and the gag reflex.
Salivary glands: Bite on a lemon and you may see one of the three sets of these at work! They secrete saliva, which helps to break down food, rinse away things that may harm your teeth, and counteract the acids in your mouth.
The frenulum: It’s that piece of tissue that connects your tongue to the floor of your mouth. Without it, that tongue of yours would run away and not stay down!
The oral mucosa: Just about everything in your mouth is covered with this protective lining, similar to the stuff that coats the inside of your nose and ears. It has an important job – defending your body from germs and irritants that enter the mouth.
So while we do pay close attention to your teeth and gums, we check all of these areas as well during every examination, looking for things such as inflammation, unusual lumps and bumps, and even oral cancer.