Mouth And Esophagus

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Mouth And Esophagus
Mouth And Esophagus
Video: Mouth And Esophagus
Video: Mechanism Process Food in Mouth, Esophagus and Stomach 2023, February
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Mouth and esophagus

Digestion begins in the mouth. When chewing, the food is chopped up with the help of the teeth and mixed with the first digestive juice through the tongue. The saliva not only makes the food pulp softer, more mushy and thus easier to swallow. He adds enzymes to food. These highly active substances initiate the first steps in digestion, for example by breaking down carbohydrates into sugar (amylase).

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Salivary glands in the mouth

In the oral cavity there are various salivary glands that produce saliva, including the ear, mandibular and sublingual salivary glands, or their ducts. In order to use the pre-digestion in the mouth optimally and to produce saliva, you should chew as long and well as possible. In the complex swallowing process, the chyme gets through the oral cavity and throat into the esophagus. Swallowing is a complex process that involves many structures.

You can find more information about mouth, teeth and swallowing at:

  • From milk tooth to wisdom tooth
  • Oral cavity and tongue
  • Mouth, throat and larynx

The esophagus

The esophagus is an elastic, muscular tube about 25 cm long and opens into the upper part of the stomach.

The esophagus runs behind the windpipe (trachea) and the left atrium of the heart and breaks through the diaphragm. The esophagus is divided into three areas, the neck, the chest and the abdomen.

Constriction when swallowing

Particularly narrow passages are characteristic of the esophagus. The upper mouth of the esophagus is a bottleneck when swallowing. The cardia, the lowest constriction of the esophagus, is also a constriction. The middle aortic narrowing and the lower diaphragmatic narrowing, where the esophagus passes through the diaphragm, are also constrictions.

The esophagus consists of several layers, the mucosa, the submucosa, the muscularis and the adventitia. These layers fulfill different tasks and have a different composition. Essential structures include mucous membrane, connective tissue, glandular and muscle tissue.

The esophagus has a special muscular architecture - it consists of striated smooth muscle fibers at the top, lengthways on the outside and a ring on the inside. It ensures that the chyme is actively transported to the stomach. Depending on the consistency, the chyme passes through the esophagus within about seven to ten seconds.

Closure mechanism to the stomach

The controlled closure to the stomach using the lower esophageal sphincter (muscular closure mechanism) is particularly important in the esophagus. If this process does not work properly, stomach contents flow back (reflux) with symptoms such as heartburn. For more information, see Reflux and Heartburn.

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