Parts of the Mouth

The mouth is composed of the lips, teeth, tongue, the mucous membrane, salivary glands and leads into the throat (pharynx).  There are other glands in the mouth also to produce fluids as the food is chopped and mixed.  

The mouth masticates food and begins the chemical breakdown of starches. 

Teeth 

We chew, grind, masticate, make smaller, and chop things with our teeth. They are one of the mechanical ways we make food smaller in order to digest it. Food pieces are too big to digest. 

As we chew food, we taste through sensory spots on our tongue which is a muscles that also pushes the food around as we chew. 

Saliva also prevents your teeth from decaying. 

Salivary Glands 

These are they three major salivary glands called the 

1) Parotid > sends saliva to your upper teeth 

2) Submaxiallary > Sends saliva to many places. 

3) Sublingual > Sends saliva under your tongue. 

There are many others throughout the mouth in your inner cheeks, lips, and the lining of your throat. 

1) The Parotid gland is the largest by size. This gland is pyramidal in shape. it derives its name by being near the ear. It produces about a quarter the total saliva in the mouth. 

Signals from the brain tell it to produce and secrete saliva an enzyme that break down starches.  

This is called alpha-amylase.  Enzymes typically end in "ase".  So if you see a word ending in "ase" it is an enzyme. 

2) The Submaxiallary (also called the submandibular gland) is under your tongue on the bottom of the mouth. Although is not the largest it produces 70% of the saliva in the mouth. 

3) Sublingual is also under the tongue in front of the Submaxiallary.  

Oral Mucosa 

The oral mucosa is located on the inner lining or epithelial of the mouth. It is very important to the mucous the mouth needs to lubricate the food to go down the tubes to the stomach. The main parts are the masticatory mucosa, lining mucosa, buccal mucosa, and the special mucosa which is associated with the taste buds. 

Mouth sores many times will be attacking the mucous lining. The mucus membrane captures pathogens. The mucous has several antiseptics that protect the mouth from infections. 

Mucus in the mouth is almost all water. It is saliva. 

Bad bacteria and other bad organisms get trapped by the mucous and die because the antiseptics kill them. If not they are killed by the strong acids in the stomach. 

We also get rid of them by spitting. 

Saliva 

Saliva contains many electrolytes, mucous, antibacterial compounds, hormones, enzymes, and more. it contains dozens of chemicals, minerals, and enzymes. 

We produce up to one and a half liters of saliva a day! 

  

 Parts of the Mouth