• Jae Cuevas

What Dentists Know That You Don't.

We're going to talk about some crazy things you probably never even thought about when it comes to taking care of your mouth.

1. Where is your toothbrush?

When you brush your teeth in the morning (hopefully), you probably don't think twice about the kinds of bacteria in the bathroom surrounding you, and your toothbrush...

That's okay. I'm here to enlighten you. At any given time, we humans have anywhere from 1-200 species of bacteria in our mouths. Think about where your toothbrush sits in accordance to everything in your bathroom. How close is it to the sink where you wash your hands? The shower? What about the toilet? That's right, the toilet. 75% of Americans keep their toothbrush too close to the toilet. When flushing a toilet, water can splash out as far as 6 feet! To top it off, 52% of Americans don't close the lid when flushing. To end on that note, it's also a good idea to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.

2. "Hyperdontia"

Many people don't know of this peculiar disease. Hyperdontia can cause excessive growth of extra teeth. In extreme cases, it can even cover the entire roof of the mouth!

In some cases, teeth may need to be removed to prevent teeth from being overcrowded or if there is extensive pain. In other less extreme cases, they can be left alone and monitored over time. Most cases are very minor consisting of one or two extra teeth. There have been reports of cases up to 30 extra teeth- only in rare cases.

3. Tooth Decay is Serious!

Tooth decay is the second most common disease after the flu. Tooth decay is more likely to occur if you're someone who consumes a lot of excess sugar, snacking, and neglects to clean your teeth.

When tooth decay goes unnoticed for too long, it leads to cavities. Tooth decay is when damaged is caused by plaque that tries to eat away at sugars in your teeth. You may have a cavity if you feel pain around your teeth, pain when chewing, or black or white spots on your teeth. The best way to make sure you don't get cavities, is to clean your teeth regularly and stay away from excessive amounts of sugar.

4. Tongue-tastic

Just like the uniqueness we have with our fingerprints, as do we have with our tongue and teeth! No one else's smile looks like yours and we all have different "tongue prints".

The tongue has 2-4000 taste buds. There are also taste buds other places besides the tongue. We have them in the back of our throat, sinuses, and nose! All of these send signals to the brain that help us decipher between different tastes.

If you gain weight, so can your tongue! The tongue is in fact made out of fat and 8 strands of muscle intertwining.

Lastly, it's a myth that the tongue tastes different flavors in certain areas. However there are different areas of sensitivity. The back of the tongue has evolved to detect sour and bitter tastes before we swallow to indicate something is rotten or poisonous. The sides of the tongue are to detect savory things to tell us that a food is nutritious.

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