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Mouth

Anatori Sealife Comments 0 11th April 2019
Mouth functions

The mouth is the first division of the alimentary tract, which principal function is to get food into the system. Mechanical breakdown of non-liquid food by chewing (mastication) helps mix food with saliva, which allows for comfortable swallowing, and allows further digestion to reach a complete state.


Mouth functions

Three paired glands, the parotid, submandibular and sublingual salivary glands produce saliva. To clarify, it consists of 99.5% water. Further, the rest is plasma salts, and proteins (some of which are enzymatic). Following is a list of several functions of saliva:

  1. the mucoprotein content aids in lubricating the mouth and in swallowing:
  2. its bicarbonate and phosphate buffer systems maintain a slightly acid environment in the oral cavity;
  3. the water content acts as a solvent which makes taste possible;
  4. its lysosomes component prevents bacterial buildup in the oral cavity;
  5. its amylase (ptyalin) content initiates the digestion of carbohydrates.

However, digestion in the mouth is inefficient, as amylase works best in neutral or slightly alkaline conditions. Besides, food is present in the mouth for only a short period. Besides, we call rugae the irregular rough ridges or folds on the hard palate, the roof of the mouth.