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Breakdown mouth

Jessica S o ,   w h e r e
s h o u l d   w e
s t a r t ?

F r o m   t h e
t o p ,   I
g u e s s . . .   s o
l e t ' s   c h e c k
o u t
   w h a t
h a p p e n s   i n
t h e   m o u t h !

m o u t h

The process of digestion begins in the mouth where the size of the food is mechanically reduced. While the food is being reduced, saliva is secreted from the salivary glands and mixed with the food. This helps the food particles to bind together and the food is chemically reduced. This is the beginning of the digestion process.

The mouth uses the 32 teeth within to break down the food particles. They are classified mainly by their shape and location. There are 3 types of teeth in the mouth: incisors, cuspid, and molar. Incisors are chisel-shaped, have sharp edges, and are used to bite off large pieces of food. The cuspid is used to grasp or tear food. The molars have flattened surfaces, and help in the grinding of food.

When the food is grinded it is mixed with saliva which dissolves some of the food and acts as a lubricant. The human saliva contains a starch-digesting enzyme that initiates the process of enzymatic hydrolysis. There is also an antimicrobal agent in the saliva, the thiocyanite ion, together with a special enzyme that facilitates entry of the ion into microbial cells. These substances help prevent harmful microbes that constantly come along with the food from infecting our bodies. The tongue then manipulates food during chewing and forms it into a mass, called bolus. Before swallowing it pushes the bolus backward through the pharynx and into the esophagus.

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