Fun Dental Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
Did you know that sugar doesn’t actually cause cavities? Hold off on grabbing all the candy bars though, because even though sugar doesn’t directly cause cavities, it feeds and helps the bacteria in your mouth that does cause cavities. This is just one interesting fact about dental health you may not have known. Let’s find out a few more, shall we?
Fact #1: Toothpaste is as old as Zeus
Toothpaste as a concept has actually been around since about 500 B.C. In ancient Greece, a mixture of iron dust and coral powder was used to clean teeth. From then until now, toothpastes have had just about everything in them, including crushed bones and oyster shells, pumice, and bark. Fluoride was introduced into toothpastes in 1914 and modern tooth care began to take shape.
Fact #2: Your dentist checks for cancer.
Not only is your dentist a whiz at everything teeth related, but they are also trained to look for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a sincere risk that can be brought on by poor oral health and it is best to let your dentist look for signs at every check up, just to be safe. Your primary care doctor of course can look for these signs, but your dentist is specialized in the area of oral hygiene and they will do the most thorough screening for you on every checkup.
Fact #3: Teeth enamel is the hardest substance on your body and as tough as steel!
Dental enamel, which is the white outer layer of your tooth made of calcium and phosphate, is made stronger by the proteins that form it. According to the Mohs Hardness Scale (system for testing mineral toughness), tooth enamel earns a 5. That means it’s about as hard, or harder, than steel!
Fact #4: A good portion of your tooth is actually hidden behind your gums
Gum health is very important for many reasons, but the main one is that your gums are home to a big portion of your teeth! About one-third of each tooth is protected and hidden beneath the surface of your gums which allows your teeth to remain healthy and sturdy. Taking great care of your gums is crucial to your gum health.
Fact #5: Every person has a unique tongue print.
Not only is your bite mark different from anyone else’s, but your tongue actually has a pattern that, like a fingerprint, is unique to only you. There are companies right now that are working on tongue print technology as a way to prove your identity. Imagine opening up and saying “AH” to open your phone or get on a plane.
Fact #6: Regular dental check ups can help prevent heart attacks.
Doctors have learned that there is a connection between the bacteria that causes gum disease and the inflammation that causes diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Bacteria from infections of the gums enter the bloodstream through the mouth and travel to vulnerable parts of the body. Some people with heart murmurs and other heart issues must take special medicine before they see a dentist just in case any bacteria could get into their bloodstream. Good oral health is an essential part of keeping healthy.
Fact #7: You have over 300 species of bacteria in your mouth.
There are around 300 different species of bacteria in plaque. Plaque is a collection of millions of bacteria that naturally forms on your teeth. Among these bacteria, there are ones that feed on the sugars in your diet that produce harmful acids that then break down your dental enamel. Not all bacteria is harmful, but this fact definitely will make you want to give your teeth another brushing before bed.
Fact #8: A person can make up to 10,000 gallons of saliva in their lifetime!
Saliva actually plays an important role in maintaining your oral and overall health. It helps you break down your food, washes away food particles, and neutralizes acids in bacteria that can lead to infection or decay. Your body produces about one quart of saliva per day, which adds up to 10,000 gallons in a lifetime. A few other quick facts about your teeth:
- 25% of adults do not brush their teeth twice a day. Not brushing twice a day increases the risk of tooth decay by 33%.
- Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene. When you do not floss, you are missing over 40% of tooth surfaces, which is why flossing is so important!
- Right-handed people tend to chew food on the right side of their mouth, while left-handed people tend to chew their food on the left side of their mouth.
- Cavities in teeth have been filled since the earliest of times with a variety of different materials, including gum, stone chips, and even turpentine resin.
- In North America, over 3 million miles of dental floss are purchased annually.
- Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause sinus problems if not taken out.
Are you ready to get the facts about your oral health with a dental check-up?
At Carrie Muzny DDS and Associates, we are here to take care of your oral health. We want you to find the right dentist. We offer a range of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services.
From cleanings to fillings, to whitening and veneers, we provide everything you need to get the smile you deserve. We cover several insurance providers, provide a variety of services, and have experience in many areas of dentistry. Contact us today for a consultation, and let’s show the world your brilliant smile.