The Parts of the Mouth

December 29, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dpmgeneralteam @ 8:56 pm
person learning about the parts of the mouth

We use our mouths to eat our favorite foods, speak to family, and laugh with friends. They are an important part of our everyday lives, but have you ever wondered what parts our mouths consist of? Read on to learn about the different parts of the mouth, what they do, and how they work together to keep everything functioning properly.


Your teeth allow you to tear and chew up food as well as maintain your facial shape. There are four different types of teeth, including:

  • Incisors – Theses are the front eight teeth, with four on top and four on the bottom.
  • Canines – There are two on top and two on the bottom. They’re the sharpest teeth in the mouth, and they let you rip and tear food apart.
  • Premolars (bicuspids) – There are located next to the canines, with four on top and four on the bottom. They let you chew and grind up your food.
  • Molars –Your molars also let you chew and grind food. There are 12 total, four of which are wisdom teeth.


The tongue consists of eight different intertwined muscles and approximately 10,000 taste buds that are replaced roughly every two weeks. Your tongue lets you speak clearly, eat and swallow food, and taste all the treats the world has to offer.

Lips and Cheeks

These consist of skin, connective tissue, and muscles. The lips and cheeks help keep your teeth in place and prevent food and saliva from falling out of your mouth. They also let you speak and breathe comfortably, smile, and make other facial expressions.


The gums protect the tooth roots. They also keep your pearly whites in place, but a part of the jaw called the alveolar bone is what actually holds them in your mouth.

Salivary Glands

These make saliva and drain it into your mouth through ducts. Saliva washes away bacteria and food particles, keeps the mouth moist, and lets you chew, swallow, and speak with ease. It also neutralizes acids, which protect your enamel from cavities. There are three paired major salivary glands, including:

  • Parotid – These are the largest salivary glands and produce 20% of the total saliva in the mouth. An infection of the parotid salivary glands is called mumps.
  • Submandibular – Located beneath the lower jaw, these produce 65-70% of your saliva.
  • Sublingual – These are located under the tongue and only produce about 5% of the saliva that enters the oral cavity.

Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ)

The TMJ is located between the lower jaw and the temporal bone. They connect your skull to your jaw and allow you to speak, chew, swallow, and open and close your mouth.

As you can see, the mouth has more going on than you might have thought. By maintaining good oral health, you can keep the parts of the mouth working as intended!

About the Author

D’Andrea and Pantera DMD PC takes pride in administering the best care around to their Hamden patients. From the moment you enter their office, they ensure that you feel comfortable and well-cared for. From dental cleanings to extensive treatment plans, they will do whatever they can to help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. Visit their website or call their office at (203) 288-0951 to make an appointment or for more information on the parts of the mouth.

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