Farmington Hills Dentist Quizzes on Turkey Teeth

With the Thanksgiving holiday marching towards us, you will probably do more chewing than you normally would in the coming days. We rely on our teeth to grind, cut, and break down food into particles that we can more easily swallow and digest. What about that turkey that is the centerpiece of most American tables on Thanksgiving day? How do birds eat? Do they even have teeth? Farmington Hills dentist, Dr. Aziza Askari has a quiz that will relate the way humans eat to our Thanksgiving turkeys.


Q1. True or false – Birds have teeth.

Q2. True or false – If your Thanksgiving turkey is dry, it’s because their salivary glands weren’t producing enough moisture for their bodies.

Q3. True or false – Humans should chew a minimum of 10 times per bite of food.


A1. FALSE – Birds have beaks that help them to consume food, but luckily their feed comes in very small particles. What turkeys do have in common with humans are salivary glands, however. The natural moisture of saliva inside a turkey’s mouth helps them make their feed moist and easy to swallow. Turkeys have tongues that serve the purpose of pushing food to the back of their mouths. Turkeys rely on the enzymes in their saliva to help them with digestion.

A2. FALSE – Dry mouth isn’t known to be a common dental health struggle in poultry. If your turkey is dry, it probably has to do with overcooking.

A3. FALSE – Try more like 50 to 100 chews per bite. This does require patience for many people that are used to gobbling their food the way a turkey gobbles. If we don’t take the time to chew our food thoroughly, we won’t be able to break down the food we are consuming and can run the risk of choking or developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.