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Mouth Enzymes - Digestion in Mouth

Last updated date: 01st Mar 2024
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How does Digestion Occur in the Mouth?

Digestion in Mouth begins the moment you bite into some food. So, the mouth is basically an anterior opening made up of the upper and lower lip which opens into an oral cavity. This oral cavity has a certain number of teeth along with a muscular tongue. Teeth, tongue along with a slimy liquid in your mouth known as saliva have the tendency to begin initial stage digestion. Now, this partially digested food then enters the stomach via a tube known as the oesophagus (it is basically a connection tube between your throat and stomach). In the stomach, this partially digested food gets digested completely. The energy extracted from food is used up by the body and the remaining waste is excreted out with the help of excretory organs.



Role of Teeth in Digestion(Teeth Digestive System)

Teeth are basically hard, mineral rich structures in our mouth and they are not made up of bone like the rest of our skeleton. They naturally have a unique structure to enable them to break down the food into smaller pieces. So, their basic function is to slice, cut, and tear the food apart in order to make it easily digestible. 

Teeth Structure

Teeth Structure


Role of Tongue in Digestion

Tongue is another important digestive organ which moves food around your mouth to help you chew and swallow because it’s a superstrong, flexible muscle and has a rough surface for good grip so that it can easily push the food against your teeth as you chew. Moreover, it’s because of the tongue that you have a sensation of the taste of your food. 

Structure of Tongue

Structure of Tongue  

Role of Saliva in Digestion

Saliva is basically a thick, colourless slimy fluid that is constantly present in your mouth. It moistens the food to make it easier to swallow and it has special chemicals in it called enzymes (mainly Salivary Amylaseand Lingual Lipase”), these saliva enzymes or mouth enzymes are responsible for breaking down starch and fats in your food into simpler substances.

Secreted Saliva

Secreted Saliva

Solved Questions

1. Describe the role of teeth in digestion.

Ans: Teeth have a natural unique structure which enables them to break down the food into smaller pieces. Thus, they basically slice, cut, and tear apart the foodstuff to make it easily digestible.

2. Describe the role of saliva in digestion.

Ans: Saliva is a slimy fluid present in mouth and basically have two important functions:

  • It moistens the food to make it easier to swallow.

  • It has various enzymes in it which are responsible for the partial digestion of food.

3. Why is digestion important for all living beings?

Ans: Food is the only biological energy source for living beings, but all the foodstuffs are generally made up of complex substances, so in order to extract energy from food, digestion disintegrates the food into simple substances such that our body could deprive energy from the same.


All our foodstuffs are made up of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, these complex substances need to be broken down into simpler substances so that they can be absorbed easily by our body and this digestion primarily occurs in the oral cavity. Thus, in the end, the digestive system’s main motive is to break down energy based compounds into simpler ones and get them in circulation so that they can be used by the body to gain energy and continuously progress in survival.

FAQs on Mouth Enzymes - Digestion in Mouth

1. Which tube is responsible for the transmission of food from the throat to the stomach?

Oesophagus is responsible for the transmission of partially digested food to the stomach.

2. Which kind of enzymes is present in saliva?

In saliva, mainly salivary amylase and lingual lipase are present as enzymes which are responsible for partial food digestion.

3. Which mouth organ gives you the sensation of taste?

The tongue is responsible for the sensation of taste of the foodstuff eaten.

4. Which structure closes to prevent choking while swallowing food?

Uvula is the structure which prevents choking while swallowing food.

5. Which kind of organs are responsible for the removal of waste from the body?

Excretory organs are responsible for the removal of waste from the body of the living beings.