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or/o-, stomat/o-







small intestine

col.o-, colon/o-

large intestine

an/o-, proct/o-, rect/o-

rectum and anus








anus and ring


bile, gall


anus, rectum


rectum, straight


sigmoid colon




presence of stones


digest, digestion


eating, swallowing

accessory organs

organs that aid with digestion but are not part of teh digestive system. these include: the liver, gallbladder and pancreas

gastrointestinal tract

another way of describing the structures of the digestive system. it is broken into two sections: the upper GI tract and the lower GI tract. (gastr/o- stomach, intestin- intestinal, -al= pertaining to.)

upper GI tract

consists of the mouth, esophagus and stomach

lower GI tract

consists of the small and large intestines (aka bowels), the rectum and the anus

oral cavity aka mouth

the lips, hard and soft palates, salivary glands, tongue, teeth and the periodontium

lips aka labia

form the opening to the oral cavity. the lips hold the food in the mouth and aid the tongue and cheeks in guiding food between the teeth for chewing.

labial frenum

(upper and lower) narrow bands of tissue that attach the lips to the jaws


forms the roof of the mouth.

hard palate

the bony anterior portion of the palate that is covered with specialized mucous membrane


irregular ridges and folds in this mucous membrane

soft palate

the flexible posterior portion of the palate. it has the imp. role of closing off the nasal passage during swallowing to prevent food and liquid from moving upward into the nasal cavity


hangs from the free edge of the soft palate. during swallowing, it moves upward with the soft palate. it also plays an imp. role in snoring and in the formation of some speech sounds.


very strong, flexible, and muscular. it aids in speech and moves food during chewing and swallowing.


upper surface of the tongue, has a tough protective covering and in some areas small bumps known as papillae.


small bumps on the dorsum that contain taste buds

taste buds

are the sensory receptors for the sense of taste

sublingual surface

part of the tongue, and the tissues that lie under the tongue, are covered with delicate highly vascular tissues. it is the presence of this rich blood supply under teh tongue that makes it suitable for administering certain medications by placing them sublingually where they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream

lingual frenum

attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth and limits its motion


consists of the bone and soft tissues that surround and support the teeth. (peri- surrounding, odonti- teeth, -um=noun ending)

gingiva aka gums

the specialized mucous membrane that surrounds the teeth, covers the bone of the dental arches and lines the cheeks.

dental arches aka upper and lower jaws

boney structures of the oral cavity that consists of the maxillary and mandibular arches. they firmly hold the teeth in position and fascilitate chewinig and speaking

temporomandibular joint aka TMJ

is formed at the back of the mouth where the maxillary and mandibular arches come together. the maxillary arch is attached to the skull and does not move, the mandibular arc is a seperate bone and is the movable part of this joint.


refers to the natural teeth arranged in the upper and lower jaws

human dentition

consists of four types of teeth: incisors, canines (aka cuspids), premolars (bicuspids), and molars.

incisors and canines (cuspids)

used for biting and tearing

premolars (bicuspids) and molars

used for chewing and grinding

primary dentition aka deciduous dentition or baby teeth

consists of 20 teeth that are normally lost during childhood and are replaced by the permanent teeth. these include: 8 incisors, 4 canines, and 8 molars

permanent dentition

consists of 32 teeth that are designed to last a lifetime. these include: 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars and 12 molars.


means without teeth. it describes the situation after the natural permanent teeth have been lost.


as used in dentistry, describes any contact between the chewing surfaces of the upper and lower teeth.


any deviation from the normal positioning of the upper teeth against the lower teeth


the portion of the tooth that is visible in the mouth


covers the teeth and is the hardest substance in the body


hold the tooth securely in place within the dental arch.


protects the roots of the tooth and is strong but not as strong as enamel


the portion of the tooth where the crown and root meet


makes up the bulk of the tooth structure and is protected on the outer surfaces by enamel and cementum


consists of a rich supply of blood vessels and nerves that provide nutrients and innervation to the tooth. in the crown it is located in the pulp cavity and in the roots it continues through the root canal.


a colorless liquid that moistens the mouth, begins the digestive process, and lubricates food during chewing and swallowing.

salivary glands

secrete saliva that is carried by ducts into the mouth. they consists of three pairs: parotid glands, sublingual glands, submandibular glands

parotid glands

located on the face in front and slightly lower that each ear. the ducts for these glands are on the inside of the cheek near the upper molars

sublingual glands

are located on the floor or the mouth under the tongue along with their ducts.

submandibular glands

located on the floor of the mouth near the mandible along with their ducts


the common passageway for both respiration and digestion


a lid like structure that closes off the entrance to the trachea(windpipe) to prevent food and liquids from moving from the pharynx during swallowing.


the muscular tube through which ingested food passes from the pharynx to the stomach

lower esophageal sphincter aka cardiac sphincter aka gastroesophageal sphincter

a muscular ring that controls the flow between the esophagus and stomach. the sphincter normally opens to allow the flow of food into the stomach and closes to prevent the stomach contents from regurgitating into the esophagus.


to flow backward


a sac-like organ composed of the fundus (upper, rounded part), body (main portion), antrum (lower part)


are the folds in the mucosa lining the stomach. glands located within these folds produce gastric juices that aid in digestion and mucus to create a protective coating on the lining of the stomach


the narrow passage that connects the stomach with the small intestine.

pyloric sphincter

the ring like muscle that controls the flow from the stomach to the duodenum of the small intestine

small intestine

extends from the pyloric sphincter to the first part of the large intestine. the small intestine is a coiled organ up to 20 feet in length. the small intestine consists of three sections (duodenum, jejunum, ileum) where food is digested and the nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream


the frist portion of the small intestine. the duodenum extends from the pylorus to the jejunum


the middle portion of the small intestine. it extends from the duodenum to the ileum


the last and longest portion of the small intestine, it extends fro the jejunum to the cecum of the large intestine

large intestine

extends from teh end of the small intestine to the anus. it is about twice as wide as teh small intestine but only one-fourth as long. it is here that the waste products of digestion are processed in preparation for excretion through the anus. the major part of the large intestine are the cecum, colon, rectum and anus


a pouch that lies on the right side of the abdomen. it extends from the end of the ileum to the beginning of the colon

ileocecal sphincter

the ring like muscle that controls the flow from the ileum of the small intestine into the cecum of the large intestine

vermiform appendix aka appendix

hangs from the lower portion of the cecum. it consists of lymphoid tissue.


refers to a worm like shape


the longest portion of the large intestine is subdivided into four parts: ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon.

ascending colon

travels upward from the cecum to the under surface of the liver.

transverse colon

passes horizontally from right to left toward the spleen.

descending colon

travels down the left side of the abdominal cavity to the sigmoid colon

sigmoid colon

an S-shaped structure that continues from the descending colon above and joins with the rectum below.


means S-shaped


the widest division of the large intestine, makes up the last 4 inches of the large intestine and ends at the anus


the lower opening of the digestive tract. the flow of wast through the anus is controlled by the internal anal sphincter and the external anal sphincter


refers to the anus and rectum as a single unit. (an/o- anus, rect-rectum, -al=pertaining to)

accessory digestive organs

play key roles in digestion but are not a part of the gastrointestinal tract. they are: the liver, the biliary tree, the gallbladder, the pancreas


a large organ located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. it has several important functions related to removing toxins from the blood and turning food into the fuel and nutrients the body needs.


pertaining to the liver

functions of the liver

1) it removes excess glucose(blood sugar) from the bloodstream and stores it as glycogen (a form of starch). when the blood sugar level is low it converts it back into glucose for release. 2) liver also destroys old erythrocytes, removes toxins from the blood stream, and manufactures some blood protein. 3) secretes bile which aids in the digestion of fats. it travels from the liver to the gallbladder where it is concentrated and stored.


the pigment produced from the destruction of hemoglobin, is released by the liver in bile.


a digestive juice produced by the liver that aids in the digestion of fats

biliary tree

provides the channels through which the bile is transported from the liver to the small intestine

functions of the biliary tree

1) small ducts in the liver join together like branches to form the biliary tree. the trunk, which is just outside the liver is known as the common hepatic duct. 2) the bile travels from teh locer through the common hepatic duct to the gallbladder where it enters and exits through the narrow cyst duct. 3) the cyst duct leaving the gallbladder rejoins the common hepatic duct to form the common bile duct. the common bile duct joins the pancreatic duct and together they enter the duodenum of the small intestine.


a pear-shaped organ about the size of an egg located under the liver. it stores and concentrates the bole for later use. when bile is needed the gallbladder contracts forcing the bile out through the biliary tree


means pertaining to the gallbladder. (cholecyst- gallbladder, -ic= pertaining to)


a soft 6 inch long oblong gland that is located behind the stomach. the gland has important roles in the digestive and endocrine systems.

digestive functions of the pancreas

1) produces and secretes pancreatic juices that aid in digestion and contain sodium bicarbonate to help neutralize stomach acids and digestive enzymes. the pancreatic juices leave the pancreas through th pancreatic duct that joins the common bile duct jsut before the entrance into the duodenum


the process by which complex foods are broken down into nutrients in a form the body can use.

digestive enzymes

responsible for the chemical changes that break foods down into simpler forms of nutrients for use by the body.


a substance (usu from food) that is necessary for normal functioning of the body. primary nutrients include: carbs, fats and proteins. essential nutrients includ: vitamins and minerals.


includes all process involved in the body's use of nutrients. it consists of two parts: anabolism and catabolism. (metabol- change, -ism=condition)


the building up of body cells and substance from nutrients


the breaking down of body cells or substances, releasing energy and carbon dioxide.


the process by which completely digested nutrients are transported to the cells throughout the body


finger-like projections that covers the mucosa that lines the small intestines and contains blood vessels and lacteals. the blood vessels absorb nutrients directly from the digestive system into the bloodsream for delivery to the cells of the body.


specialized structures of the lymphatic system that absorb fats and fat soluble vitamins (that can not be transported directly by the bloodstream) and transports them via the lymphatic system. as they are transported they are filtered by the lymph nodes in prep for their delivery to the bloodstream

mastication aka chewing

breaks food down into smaller pieces, mixes it with saliva and preps it to be swallowed.


a mass of food tht has been chewed and is ready to be swallowed. the term bolus is also used in relation to the admin of medication


food travels from the mouth into the pharynx and on into the esophagus


a series of wave-like contractions of the smooth muscles in a single direction. in the esophagus, food moves downward through the action of gravity and peristalsis.

gastric juices

the stomach contains hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes to begin the digestive process. few nutrients enter the bloodstream through the walls of the stomach


a semifluid mass of partly digested food that passes out of the stomach through the pyloric sphincter and into the small intestine. (the churning action of the stomach works with teh gastric juices by converting the food into chyme)

role of the small intestine

the conversion of food into usable nutrients is completed as the chyme is moved through the small intestine by peristaltic action. in the duodenum, chyme is mixed with pancreatic juice and bile. the bile breaks apart large fat globules so enzymes in the pancreatic juices can digest the fats. the jejunum secretes large amount of digestive enzymes and continues the process of digestion. the primary function of the ileum is the absorption of nutrients from the digested food.


the breaking apart of large fat globules so enzymes in the pancreatic juices can digest the fats. it must be completed before the nutrients can be absorbed onto the body.

role of the large intestine

to receive the waste products of digestion and store them until they are eliminated from the body. food waste enters the large intestine in liquid form. excess water is reabsorbed into the body through the walls of the lrg intest, helping to maintain the bodys fluid balance and remaining waste forms into feces.

feces aka stools

solid body wastes expelled through the rectum and anus

defecation aka bowel movement

the evacuation or emptying of the lrg intestine


the rumbling noise caused by the movement of gas in the intestine. this gas is produced by the millions of bacteria which help break down organic waste material in the large intestine

flatulence aka flatus

the passage of gas out of the body through the rectum


the branch of medicine concerned with the prevention and control of obesity and associated diseases.


holds a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or doctor of medical dentistry (DMD) degree and specializes in diagnosing and treating disease and disorders of teeth and tissues of the oral cavity


a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the stomach and intestines. (gastro- stomach, enter- small intestine, -ologist= specialist)


a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the internal organs and related body systems


a dental specialist who prevents or corrects malocclusions of the teeth and related facial structures. (orth- straight or normal, odont- teeth, -ist= specialist)


a dental specialist who prevents or treats disorders of the tissues surrounding the teeth. )peri- surrounding, odont- teeth, -ist= specialist)


a physician who specializes in disorders of the colon, rectum and anus. (proct- anus and rectum, -ologist= specialist)

aphthous ulcers aka canker sores or mouth ulcers

grey-white pits with a red border in the soft tissues lining the mouth. it is assoc with stress, certain foods or fever.

cheilosis aka cheilitis

a disorder of the lips characterized by crack-like sores at the corners of the mouth. (cheil-lips, -osis= abn condidition or disease)

herpes labialis aka cold sores or fever blisters

blister like sores on the lips and adjacent tissues that are caused by the oral herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) most adults have been infected by this extremely common virus, and in some, it becomse re-activated periodically causing cold sores.

oral thrush

develops when the fungus candida alicans grows out of control. the symptoms include creamy white lesions on the tongue or inner cheek, often occurs in infants and older adults with weakened immune systems or individuals who have been taking antbiotics


any disease of the mouth due to fungus. (stomat/o- mouth or oral cavity, myc-fungus, -osis= abn condition or disease)


describes bleeding from any part of the mouth. (stomat/o- mouth or oral cavity, -rrhagia= bursting forth of blood)


describes any restriction to the opening of the mouth caused by trauma, surgery, or radiation associated with the treatment of oral cancer. causes difficulty in speaking and affects the patients nutrition due to impaired ability to chew and swallow.

xerostomia aka dry mouth

the lack of adequate saliva due to diminished secretions by the salivary glands. can be due to medication or radiations of the salivary glands and can cause discomfort, diff swallowing, changes teh taste of food, and dental decay. (xer/o- dry, stom-mouth, -ia= pertaining to.)

cleft lip aka hairlip

a birth defect in which tehre is a deep groove of the lip running upward to the nose as a result of the failure of this portion of the lip to close during prenatal development.

cleft palate

the failure of the palate to close during the early development of the fetus. it can involve the upper lip, hard palate, and/or soft palate. can occur together or seperate of cleft lip.

acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis aka trench mouth

caused by abn growth of bacteria in the mouth. as it progresses, the inflamm, bleeding, deep ulceration and the death of the gum tissue becomes more severe.


the involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth that usu occurs during sleep and is assoc with tension or stress. it wears away tooth structure, damages periodontal tissues and injures the temporomandibular joint.

dental calculus aka tartar

dental plaque that has calcified on the teeth. these deposits irritate the surrounding tissues and cause increasingly serious periodontal diseases.

dental caries aka tooth decay or a cavity

an infectious diseases caused by bacteria that destroy the enamel and dentin of the tooth. the pulp can be exposed and become infected.

dental plaque

a major cause of dental caries and periodontal disease, forms as soft deposits in sheltered areas near the gums and between teeth. consists of bacteria and bacterial by products.


the earliest stage of periodontal disease and the inflamm affects only the gums. (gingiv- gums, -itis=inflamm)

halitosis aka bad breath

an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth that can be caused by dental diseases or respiratory or gastric disorders. (halit-breath, -osis= abn condition disease)

periodontal disease aka periodontits

an inflamm of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. a progressive is classified according to the degree of tissue involvment. in severe cases the gums and bone surrounding the teeth are involved. (peri-surrounding, odont- teeth, -al= pertaining to.)

temporomandibular disorder

part of the group of complex symptoms that include pain, headache, or difficulty in chewing that are related to the functioning of the temporomandibular joint


difficulty in swallowing. (dys- difficult, -phagia= swallowing)

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