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refers to the mechanical and chemical breakdown of foods so that nutrients can be absorbed by cells.

alimentary canal

a muscular tube about 9 meters long that passes through the body's ventral cavity.


the inner layer of the alimentary canal which is lined with epithelium attached to connective tissue; it protects tissues of the canal and carries on secretion and absorption.


the next layer of the alimentary canal made up of loose connective tissue housing blood and lymph vessels and nerves; it nourishes the surrounding layers of the canal.

muscular layer

consists of inner circular fibers and outer longitudinal fibers that propel food through the canal.


the outer layer composed of visceral peritoneum that protects underlying tissues and secretes serous fluid to keep the canal from sticking to other tissues in the abdominal cavity.

mixing movements and propelling movements

the motor functions of the alimentary canal are of two types

mixing movements

occur when smooth muscles contract rhythmically in small sections of the tube.

propelling movements

include a wavelike motion called peristalsis, which is caused by contraction behind a mass of food as relaxation allows the mass to enter the next segment of the tube.


the first portion of the alimentary canal; it functions to receive food and begins mechanical digestion by mastication.


form the lateral walls of the mouth.


highly mobile structures that surround the mouth opening; contain sensory receptors that help to judge the temperature and texture of food.


a thick, muscular organ covered by mucous membrane with taste buds within papillae; it is attached to the floor of the mouth by the frenulum.


provide friction for moving food around in the mouth.

Lingual tonsils

lymphatic tissues located at the root of the tongue.


forms the roof of the oral cavity and has an anterior hard palate and posterior soft palate.

soft palate and uvula

function to close off the nasal cavity during swallowing.

palatine tonsils

associated with the palate in the back of the mouth; because they are lymphatic tissue, help to protect the body against infection.

pharyngeal tonsils

(adenoids), another lymphatic tissue; located on the posterior wall of the pharynx, above the border of the soft palate.


How many sets of teeth develop in sockets within the alveolar processes of the maxillary and mandibular bones?

20, 32

The _____ primary teeth are shed in the order they appeared and are replaced by _____ secondary teeth.

mechanical digestion

Through the actions of chewing, teeth break food into smaller pieces, beginning ________.

periodontal ligament

A tooth is held tight in its socket by a ________.


very front teeth, used for biting into something


next to incisors/ little sharp ones


next to cuspids/ called premolars/ usually pulled by dentist if has to


great big teeth in the back used for crushing

wisdom teeth

not everyone has a third set of teeth called ________


the part of the tooth that you can see


the crown has an outer layer called _____


the part of the tooth that you can't see


when the actual membrane that holds the tooth becomes inflamed and starts losing bone and teeth are loosening


bacteria in your mouth carries this


when bacterial metabolize, they produce _____ and wear away the tooth enamel


what the salivary gland secretes; moistens and dissolves food particles, binds them together, allows tasting, helps to cleanse the mouth and teeth, and begins carbohydrate digestion.

parotid gland

largest of salivary glands; thin and watery/ used primarily when you need to digest

sublingual gland

under the tongue; very small and this salvia is the thick and the stringy kind

submandibular gland

thicker; located on the floor of the mouth, secrete a more viscous fluid.


Salivary glands contain _____ cells that produce a watery fluid with amylase, and mucous cells that produce lubricating and binding mucus.

parasympathetic stimulation

Salivary glands receive _____ that triggers the production of a large volume of saliva at the sight or smell of food.

parotid glands

lying in front of the ear, are the largest of the major salivary glands; they secrete a clear, watery fluid rich in amylase.

sublingual glands

inferior to the tongue, are the smallest of the major salivary glands and secrete a saliva that is thick and stringy.


a cavity lying behind the mouth


a muscular tube leading to the stomach

nasopharynx, oropharynx, largyngopharynx

The pharynx connects the nasal and oral cavities with the larynx and esophagus and is divided into three portions:

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