What are the functions of our teeth?
Teeth are one of the first tools of the food processing process. They help the food to be broken down into small pieces. They protect the supportive tissue that covers them, and help their growth. Our teeth also help us with the speech, as they have an important role in correct sound formation. Esthetically they complete our facial appearance.
Our tooth have different structures depending on their functions:1 incisors, 2 canines, 3 bicuspids, 4 molars
These are the frontal teeth in the upper an lower dental arc. They are adapted for shearing sharply. In the upper row middle incisors are 9-10 mm. , upper side incisors are about 6-7 mm. Lower middle and side incisors are both about 6-7 mm.
Canine teeth also called “cuspids” and “dog teeth” are relatively sharp, pointy and they come next to the incisors on the dental arc. They are 4 all together in our mouth and they help tearing the food apart.
1- D, T and TH sounds are produced by the tongue touching to the incisors,
2- F and V sounds are formed by lower lips touching to the upper incisors,
3- S sound is formed in a bit more complex way:
While the upper and lower incisors are in connection, tongue getting its support from molars, forms an air tunnel with its tip and the air runs trough this tunnel creating the sound. SH and J sounds are also formed in a similar way, however this time tongue tip doesn’t play any role.
In fact the teeth, alveolar bones, gums, tongue, palate (root of the mouth) perform their task of speech, chewing, tasting and swallowing, in conjunction with each other.
Our teeth help us tear the food apart in small pieces and grind it with sideways movement of the jaw. In order to have a proper food digestion teeth rows should be healthy.
3- Premolars (Bicuspids) and Molars
Molars are the rearmost and most complicated kind of tooth in most mammals. In many mammals they grind food. These are situated behind the canines and they have different structure. In each half row, there are two premolars which are smaller and 3 molars, in total 10 at each dental arc.
Premolars otherwise known as bicuspids have two cusps (pointy tip) which help chewing and locking. Furthermore, molars in the upper arc have four and the ones in the lower arc has five cusps.
4- Third Molars(wisdom teeth)
The wisdom teeth (third molars) are studied in another section. Here we only mention that their shapes and root numbers are very different.
The effect of teeth for correct pronunciation:
Speech is an important aspect of communication. Furthermore, many occupations such as Law, Politics, Acting, Singing and Broadcasting significantly requires proper speech. Our teeth also has an important role in the speech formation. For example:to