The Cells of the Mouth Essay

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The cells of the mouth have some of the fastest turnover rates in the body. This is because oral cells have to grow quickly enough to aid the immune system, to keep nearby organs free of bacteria. Good nutrition also supports the immune system, and the body’s ability to control oral bacteria so they can digest or begin the digestion process without damaging gum, teeth, or tissue. Food that remains in our mouth too long causes bacteria to grow, causing decay in teeth and gums. All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars: glucose, fructose, maltose, and lactose. However, it is the fermentable carbohydrates that break down in the mouth. Food that has fermentable carbohydrates, sugar or starch used by oral bacteria to produce acid, causes decay in teeth. This happens when oral bacteria, a lover of sugary foods and highly-refined carbohydrates, feeds on simple sugars. The end product is acidic waste and bio-film, referred to as dental plaque, a juxtaposition of the bacteria and the acid. This acid demineralizes the enamel of teeth, insulates plaque, and irritates gum tissue.
Saliva is an important agent against cavities, as it flushes away some sugars and buffers the acidity in the mouth. It contains antibacterial compounds and enzymes (Amylase) which start the digestion process. These enzymes break down food in between teeth. Saliva has butters that keep the mouth’s pH level slightly alkaline (having a pH greater than 7). Without the pH being slightly alkaline, the early stage of digestion that occurs in the mouth would harbor many tooth-eating bacteria. Nevertheless, the consistency of saliva impacts its effectiveness. Thinner saliva breaks away food and washes it away quickly while thick saliva produces more acid-producing ba...

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...hy. Many of these healthy diets include healthy portions of fruit. This project determined how different fruits would effect oral bacterial growth and therefore would be of use to these dieters, who may be questioning “Which fruit is better for me?” In terms of keeping their mouth healthy as well as their body, this project would help them choose a fruit to eat in the in the middle of the day or before brushing. Pears, the fruit that caused the least bacterial growth, are also healthy for the body in that they help lower cholesterol and are an excellent source of dietary fibers and vitamin C. This project would also help the American parents and children in terms of packing a lunch. Most children do not brush their teeth after lunch in school, and so parents could pack a pear or banana for lunch instead of an apple or orange to prevent cavities or dental erosion.

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