So what is digestion? It is the complicated process of converting the food you eat into nutrients that your body can use for energy, growth and cell repair needed for survival. The digestion process not only takes in nutrients but also eliminates the waste products from your food. The digestive system is a series of long twisted tubes that start at your mouth and goes all the way down to your anus. It’s made up of different tissues that have important functions in breaking down the food. Here is where the whole process starts, the mouth. There are two methods of breaking down the food mechanically and chemically. Mechanically, using the teeth and tongue and chemically, using chemicals called enzymes to break down food. You use your teeth to chew and break down the food into pieces that can be more easily digested, one of the most important parts. Along with this the chemical process also begins where your salivary glands start to produce saliva. Technically the salivary glands tend to get activated upon smelling the food, therefore your mouth starts to water. Saliva, which is a mixture of enzymes and water created by the cells in the epithelial tissue lining the mouth, keeps the mouth and other parts moist throughout the process. The salivary glands also help break down carbohydrates and lubricate the passage of food down from the pharynx to the esophagus to the stomach.
There are three main types, the parotid, the submandibular and the sublingual glands. As you see these can be found near the mouth and throat, they all secrete saliva into the mouth. The parotid through tubes that drain saliva, called salivary ducts, near your upper teeth. Submandibular under your tongue, and the sublingual through many ducts in the floor of your mouth. Apart from these main glands there are many tiny ones called minor salivary glands located in your lips, inner cheek area, and in other linings of your mouth and throat.
Then the movements of the tongue and the mouth...
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