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digestive system

organs that work together to ensure proper digestion and absorption of nutrients

Alimentary canal

the digestive tract as a whole

gastrointestinal tract

principal tubelike structure of the digestive system extending from mouth to anus


process of taking food into the mouth


The process of altering the chemical and physical composition of food so that it can be absorbed and used by the body cells


a number of GI movements resulting from muscular contraction

mechanical digestion

breakup large chunks of food into smaller bits; chewing (mastication), swallowing (deglutition), and peristalsis

chemical digestion

breaks large molecules into smaller molecules; brought about by digestive enzyme


release of digestive juices and hormones that facilitate digestion


movement of digested nutrients into the internal environment of the body


neural, hormonal, and other mechanisms that regulate digestive activity


the inside or hollow space within the tube


tough and stratified or delicate and simple epithelium that produce mucus


connective tissue layer that lies below the mucosa


circular, longitudinal, and oblique (in stomach) layers of muscle important in GI motility


wavelike movement in the muscularis that pushes food down the tract


back and forth movement in the muscle layer


serous membrane that covers the outside of abdominal organs


attaches the digestive tract to the wall of the abdominopelvic cavity by forming folds


a hollow chamber with a roof, floor and walls

hard palate

a bony structure of the mouth formed by palatine and maxillary bone

soft palate

soft and consists of muscle found in the rear portion of the mouth


a cone shape structure hanging down from the center of the soft palate

soft palate and uvula

prevents any food and liquid from entering the nasal cavities


a thin membrane that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth

tongue division

root, tip and body

tooth division

crown (covered by enamel), neck (surrounds the gum) and root

periodontal membrane

lines each tooth socket and anchors the tooth to the bone


generalized and serious type of inflammation and infection from gingivitis; leading cause of tooth loss among adults

dental caries

a disease of the enamel, dentin, and cementum of teeth that results in the formation of a permanent cavity; tooth decay

types of teeth

incisors (cutting), canines or cuspids (piercing and tearing), premolars or bicuspid, and molars or tricuspid (grinding)

salivary glands

parotid (largest), submandibulars, and sublingual

salivary amylase

digestive enzyme found in the saliva that begins the chemical digestion of carbohydrates


a tubelike structure made of muscle and lined with mucus membrane; function as respiratory and digestive system; nasopharynx, oropharynx, laryngopharynx


most involved segment in digestive process of swallowing or deglutition


regulation of deglutition movement motor cortex


regulation of deglutition movement in brainstem

pharynx and esophagus

passageway for food into the stomach

cardiac sphincter

prevents food from reentering the esophagus when stomach contract; also called gastroesophageal sphincter

hiatal hernia

a bulging out of the stomach through the opening of the diaphragm through which the esophagus normally passes; this condition may prevent the cardiac sphincter from closing allowing stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus; condition known as GERD


partially digested food mixture leaving the stomach

gastric glands

secrete gastric juice and hydrochloric acid into the stomach


wrinkles or folds in the stomach

stomach division

fundus, body, and pylori

pyloric sphincter

holds the food in the stomach


first subdivision of the small intestine where most chemical digestion occurs

small intestine division

duodenum, jejunum and ileum


multiple circular folds in the small intestine


fingerlike fold covering the plicae; contains lymphatic vessel; absorb carbohydrate and protein


lymphatic vessel in villi that absorb lipid or fat materials from chyme


epithelial cells that cover villus; increases the surface area of each villus for absorption of nutrients

minor and major duodenal papillae

opening of ducts that empty pancreatic digestive juice and bile from the liver into the small intestine


exocrine gland; secrete bile; largest gland


substance that act as detergent to emulsify fat


concentrates and stores bile


exocrine and endocrine glands

large intestine

cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum and anal canal

vermiform appendix

wormlike tubular structure attach to cecum


a large, moist, slippery sheet of serous membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers organ

greater momentum

lace apron, hangs down from lower edge of stomach and transverse colon over intestine

pancreatic amylase

breaks polysaccharide down to monosaccharide


changes maltose (malt sugar) to glucose


changes sucrose (sugar cane) to glucose


changes lactose (milk sugar) into glucose


gastric juice enzyme that digest protein


pancreatic enzyme that digest protein


intestinal enzyme; digest protein and convert to amino acid

pancreatic lipase

enzyme that changes emulsified fats into fatty acid and glycerol

fractal geometry

study of fragmented geometric irregular shapes such as those in lining of intestine

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