The anatomy of each teeth varies from the anterior and modifies itself as it progresses towards the posterior. This variation of anatomy has been in the works, evolved over millions of years and is derived based on the the usage and function of each tooth. Anterior teeth have certain ridges and grooves on their backs (lingual surface). Meanwhile the posterior teeth which include the premolars and the molars also have ridges and grooves on the biting surfaces (occlusal surface).
CLINICAL VIEW OF A GROOVE.
Similar to Life there are ups and downs on our tooth as well, comprising of mountains and valleys. This analogy is useful in making it much simpler to understand. Two mountains form a valley. The valley does collect the mushed food debris and channels it forward in unison along with the mountain slopes, here it is called cusps. The grooves may be shallow or deep and it’s morphology does vary from person to person and from tooth to tooth. Deeper grooves tend to accumulate plaque, food debris and in some cases calculus or tartar. They are know as fissures. Fissures may run deep. Some are easy to diagnose and some not so. Early diagnosis is the key in the prevention of any disease, which here is caries (cavities).
CROSS SECTION REVEALING DEEP FISSURE.
The upper and lower teeth work in a synchronized fashion to grind food and our tongue gives them a lending hand in manipulating the food and guiding it back to our throat. Aren’t you amazed to know that our tongue and cheeks does not get bitten by us in the process of chewing millions upon millions of times in our lifetime? Once in a blue moon it does. Nature IS amazing. All of us have been taking our teeth for granted. Since they operate pain free and maintenance free in our opinion, we feel that we can abuse it in any way and we are expecting it to work for us normally. But life does throw surprises at us once in a while. A person with perfect teeth and a normal teeth may develop a swelling all of a sudden out of the blue and may find that he or she may need a root canal therapy due to the fact that a small cavity that started out in the fissure had progressed towards the nerve of the tooth and is in the nerve. This is real Life. This could have been completely prevented in the first place. Gum disease also pops up with no warning sometimes.
Our teeth are not shaped like boxes. They are there for a purpose and they come in different shapes, sizes, colors and even character. The anterior teeth are for incising food, the canines are for tearing food and the premolars and molars are there for chopping down and grinding the food. Each of them are designed to do their specific task to enable our survival. They are trying to help us but we do not seem to be helping them by taking care of them. And we expect them to function NORMALLY? What do we consider NORMAL? Does that mean the good times when we are out of pain? In most cases this is our definition of NORMAL. But it is not. This is like, we buy a brand new car and do not change oil or do any preventive maintenance for the life of the car. This may not last that long. This is exactly what we are doing to our teeth and expecting it to last a lifetime. As long as this car runs, we consider this as Normal. Once it stops then you know what happens. Teeth can be filled with sealants or conservative fillings to prevent caries. We are literally nipping the problem in the bud by doing so.
YOU GET THE PICTURE UP CLOSE.
Many patients complain that they do not have the funds to take care of their teeth. They also say that they cannot afford to do so. But they seem to have the funds to purchase everything else. So in short, we are willing to spend much more on “material stuff” than investing in our own health. Here, I have used the word “invest”and not the word spend. My recommendation to everyone out there is to see your dentist at least once every 3 months to get your Comprehensive examination, Prophylaxis (Dental cleaning) and necessary X-rays. This fee is very nominal for preventive care. But if we choose to neglect our oral Health all together, this fee may escalate due to the need for major work such as Root canal Therapy, Surgical Extractions, deep abscesses etc, etc. This could have been completely prevented by taking a preventive approach to our Oral Health. So WE CANNOT AFFORD NOT TO TAKE THE PREVENTIVE APPROACH.
All of us like surprises, but only the good ones. So to savor the good things in life fill it with good news. Good news do not have to cost much. All you have to do is to see your Dentist periodically in good times so you do not have to deal with the bad times. If you do, it may never come your way.
Take care of your teeth and it will take care of you. Without which we may be swallowing our food instead of chewing them.