Healthy Teeth Are Crucial for the Digestive System
Posted on 5/25/2016 by Dr. Call
The first step in digestion takes place in your mouth. Your teeth will break down and chew food, and the saliva contains enzymes that will start the digestive process.
For this reason, it is important that you ensure your teeth are healthy, as your digestive system will depend on it.
How Teeth Function in Digestion
Adults will have 28-32 teeth on average, depending on whether or to they have their wisdom teeth. Each type of tooth will have a different function in order to aid in the initial stages of digestion:
Incisors. The incisors, or front teeth, will consist of sharp edges that are specifically designed for cutting food. You'll have six on the upper jaw and six on the lower jaw.
Canines. At the end of your sets of incisors you will have the canines. There are two on the top jaw and two on the bottom. The incisor teeth are responsible for cutting food and moving it back into the mouth to the molars and premolars, with assistance from the tongue.
Premolars. The premolars help with chewing by crushing food. You'll have a total of eight premolars - two in each of the four quadrants of your mouth.
Molars. The molars will have the largest surface area, making them good at grinding up food. Like the premolars, there are eight total.
Chewing the food properly will signal your saliva to begin the breakdown process, and you'll need to have healthy, straight teeth in order to get optimal efficiency.
If you've ever experienced a toothache, you know from past experience that it can be difficult to eat and chew if you are in pain. Additionally, missing teeth, infection, and misalignment can all have a negative effect on proper chewing and the breakdown of foods, which will ultimately impact your ability to properly digest the things that you eat.
Please contact us if you have any questions about your oral health.
Century Dental Dr. Jefferson Call, DMD & Dr. Dix Densley, DDS