The term mouth refers to the opening of the digestive canal on the outside and the cavity inside which the opening itself is included. It is supported by a skeletal arch that is divided into a maxillary (upper) and a mandibular (lower) portion , each of which has teeth. In the front it is delimited by the presence of the lips and in the rear by the throat .
Initial part of the digestive canal, it also performs respiratory, phonatory and digestive functions . It is also the seat of the organism which is responsible for the perception of taste . It is internally lubricated by the action of the salivary glands .
What is the mouth?
There are multiple structures in the mouth. From top to bottom there are: the upper lip , the upper gum , the upper dental arch , the palate (hard anteriorly, soft posteriorly), the uvula , the two tonsils , the tongue , the lower dental arch , the lower gum and the lower lip .
In the anterior / posterior direction, however, there are: the lips followed by teeth and gums , behind which the tongue and tonsils are located below and, above, the palate (hard and soft) and the uvula.
What is the mouth for?
The mouth has four different main functions :
Digestive : it is the place where the food, which is introduced into the body, is more easily made digestible by the stomach, through chewing and the presence of saliva ; the fragmentation of food carried out by the teeth and the action of salivary enzymes cause the food introduced into the mouth to be partially digested before being swallowed, forming the food bolus.
Respiratory : through the mouth the air can enter the larynx and then get to the bronchi, avoiding the possible obstruction of the nasal pits (even if the air inspired by the mouth does not undergo all that humidification, purification and heating process that is reserved to it when it is inspired by the nose, which is the body responsible for doing so).
Speech : the mouth plays the role of resonance and modulation to the sounds that are emitted by the larynx.
Taste : the mouth is the seat of taste ; this thanks to the taste buds that cover the tongue.