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It is a fact that when we are born, there are almost no bacteria in our digestive systems.
Surprisingly, we develop bacteria in our large intestine within one month of being born. Bacteria perform a positive role in the digestive system, and the bacteria in the large intestine synthesize various vitamins from the food that we ingest.
There are four steps in digestion - starting from ingestion of food, leading to mechanical and chemical breakdown of food, absorption of nutrients in the small intestine and the large intestine, and finally eliminating the indigestible and waste material from the body.
There are several parts to the digestive system. This begins from the mouth and then the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, caecum, and anus. The pancreas, liver, gall bladder, pharynx, and salivary gland are the other important parts that complete the digestive system. The gallbladder releases bile that helps the duodenum to digest fats in the body. The pancreas and the liver also help in the digestive process.
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In human anatomy, the mouth, also known as the oral cavity or buccal cavity, is the aperture through which air and food enter the human body; the digestive tract begins at the mouth.
The lips open to the outside, and the back of the mouth empties into the neck; the lips, cheeks, hard palate, soft palate or the roof of the mouth, and glottis define the mouth's borders.
The vestibule, the region between the teeth and the cheeks, and the oral cavity itself are separated into two portions. The tongue, a big muscle firmly connected to the bottom of the mouth by the frenulum linguae, fills one part. The mouth and its structures are critical in the production of speech in humans, adding to their primary role in food intake and first digestion.
Teeth are rigid structures that are designed to bite and crush food. Teeth form a row around the tongue on the lateral and anterior sides in the bottom of the mouth and a nearly equivalent row extending from the roof of the mouth. The teeth rip and ground ingested food into tiny bits that can be digested. The tongue helps place and mix food and contains sensory receptors for taste. The palate divides the mouth from the nasal cavity, permitting separate passageways for air and food.
There are several structures that surround the oral cavity. The alveolar arches (bony structures that house the teeth) surround the front and sides of the mouth cavity. Secretions from saliva glands help keep the mouth cavity wet for the food you eat, enabling you to move the food around and absorb nutrients when the food moves into the body.
The mouth is known to be the first part of the alimentary canal and the digestive system, where food is received and saliva is produced.
The mucous membrane epithelium lining the interior of the mouth is known as the oral mucosa. Lips, mouth cavity, vestibule, teeth, gums, tongue, and salivary glands are all parts of the mouth. The tongue is covered with papillae, which are tiny ridges that assist it in holding and carrying food around the mouth.
The salivary gland produces saliva, which is necessary to taste the food and also to lubricate the food so that it can easily move towards the next part of the digestive system. Your saliva contains certain enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the sugar in your food before they move to your stomach.
The mouth is the place that the digestive tract begins. Food is taken into the mouth, crushed by the teeth, and moistened with saliva to begin digestion. An enzyme found in the saliva known as amylase begins the breakdown of carbs into sugars. The tongue's movements assist in pushing the moist, soft food mass to the rear of the mouth, where it may be swallowed. To guarantee that food is delivered into the esophagus – the long tube that goes to the stomach – a flap of skin called the epiglottis shuts over the windpipe, known as the trachea.
The wavelike movement in the gastrointestinal tract is also called peristalsis, and it is a succession of muscle contractions that transport food from the esophagus to the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter, a ring-like muscle at the bottom of your esophagus, must relax to allow food to pass through (it moves food forward in the system).
The sphincter then closes, preventing the stomach contents from spilling back into the esophagus. The stomach is an empty or hollow organ of the digestive system that stores the food and helps what we eat get digested with the help of hydrochloric acid while it is combined with stomach enzymes. The hydrochloric acid in the stomach also helps in killing harmful bacteria.
These enzymes released with the digestive juices help in the breakdown of food particles or whole grains into a form that the body can digest. The cells in your stomach's lining release strong acid and potent, powerful enzymes that aid in the process of digestion.
The stomach's contents are discharged into the small intestine once they are ready, and the absorption of nutrients takes place. Nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, and the leftover food residue liquid goes through the small intestine. It then continues to the large intestine (a long muscular tube), or colon, consisting of the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and rectum.
Peristalsis is the movement of stool or waste left (the food debris and harmful bacteria left after digestion) from the digestion process through the colon. Water is eliminated from the feces as it moves through the colon via a mass movement to the rectum. The rectum connects the colon to the anus, deciding when the intestinal gas or the stool passes through the anus.
The internal anal sphincter relaxes while the rectum contracts and the solid waste is ready to pass through the anus. The pelvic floor muscle creates an angle between the anus and the rectum that stops the stool from being pushed out when it isn't supposed to. The pelvic floor muscle and the two anal sphincters form a lengthy canal (internal and external sphincter) known as the anus. The upper anus lining will tell you if the contents are liquid, gas, or solid form, and then through the bowel movement, it is released out of the body. Drinking enough water helps with a smooth bowel movement.
The mouth is one of the most essential parts of the digestive system.
Certain diseases affect the mouth in the digestive system of the body. It is widely recognized that the oral cavity can be affected by various systemic disorders. Gastrointestinal diseases or GIDs are one of these. Oral manifestations can occur and potentially onset the beginning of gastrointestinal diseases in the body.
Certain infections like thrush, cold sore, and tonsillitis are the most common among the diseases that can occur and affect the mouth in the digestive system of the body. Mouth ulcers are also common. Cleft lip and cleft palate, bad breath, dry mouth syndrome, problems of the tongue such as the crack surface of the tongue, tooth problems like cavities, are all also among the list of common diseases of the mouth.
Other serious mouth diseases include mouth cancer. Changes in the hard and soft oral tissues can be caused by a variety of gastrointestinal diseases of various types like inflammatory, viral, hereditary, and other etiologies. Among them are gastroesophageal reflux disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease. Conditions such as ulceration cobblestoning, mucogingivitis, labial and facial inflammation, dysgeusia, and dental anomalies are just a few gastrointestinal diseases that can cause dental problems.
Aside from local and common oral problems, systemic problems frequently manifest in the oral cavity. In riboflavin insufficiency, the lips become fissured and degraded around the edges. Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is characterized by many brown blemishes on the lips and polyps in the small intestine.
Fordyce disease is characterized by clusters of tiny yellow spots on the buccal mucosa and the mucosa below the lips, caused by increased sebaceous glands immediately under the mucosal surface.
Aphthous stomatitis is the most prevalent cause of mouth ulcers. One out of every five Caucasians suffers from ulcers. This illness manifests as one or two tiny painful vesicles rupturing and forming round or oval ulcers.
Similarly, the practice of retaining tobacco in the region between the cheek and the teeth might lead to oral cancer. In heavy smokers, continuous thermal irritation can induce oral cancer too, which is commonly preceded by leukoplakia.
The mouth or the oral cavity plays a vital role or function in the body's digestive system.
The mouth is an integral part that begins the digestion process right from when you eat something. This is called ingestion. The journey of mechanical digestion starts right from the moment when you eat something, and your teeth start breaking the food into small pieces. Your saliva and its enzymes help in nutrient absorption from the food into the body, and the process of chemical digestion begins.
Your body's digestive system has two main functions - the first is to digest the nutrients from the food, and the second is to get rid of the waste material from the body.
The tongue forms a tiny lump termed a bolus out of the chewed food and transports it to the food pipe or the next part of the digestive system. From the food pipe, the food then moves to the stomach (the next stage of the digestive system), where the next stage of digestion starts, and food is mixed with gastric juices.
It moves further to the small intestine, where the nutrients are further absorbed in the body through the finger-like projections there. It then moves to the large intestine or colon (the large intestine has three sections). It moves to the rectum from the colon, and finally, the waste, mostly food particles, debris, and bacteria, comes out through the anus.
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