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Your mouth and digestion

Published: March 11, 2021

Digestion begins in your mouth
Digestion begins in your mouth

We are what we eat!

But how does the food you eat become you and especially a healthy you? What happens to the food you have consumed once you have chewed it and swallowed it?
The process of digestion begins in your mouth the second that you put food into it.
This process makes nutrients contained in the foods and beverages you consume available for absorption into your body.
Although food only remains in your mouth for a short period of time your mouth not only breaks down your food into pieces small enough to swallow, but also plays host to several other processes.  
Together these processes form the first step of the digestive process which ultimately releases essential and non-essential nutrients from the foods and beverages you consume.
Your mouth is a laboratory which initiates a series of chemical reactions which drive the digestive process and which contribute to your health. 
The first step of the digestive process in your mouth is the break down of food into smaller pieces which is performed by the combined mechanical action of your teeth, tongue, and jaw.
In addition to this mechanical action, your mouth is host to enzymatic action.
As you begin to eat food, and often before you take your first mouthful, your salivary glands release...link to the full article to learn more


Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth