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3.2.1.1. Chewing

Chewing food

The feed is introduced into the digestive system through the mouth, where it is fragmented by teeth, mixed with saliva, and removed by the tongue.

The mastication is a mechanical process in which cut and grind food to facilitate subsequent digestion.

The tongue is a muscular organ that, in addition to intervening in the sense of taste, also does it in the emission of sounds, in addition to collaborating in the chewing of food, moving the food from one teeth to another and allowing the food to mix with the saliva.

The teeth are responsible for fragmenting the food and, for that, there are several different types of teeth. In a complete denture of an adult we find:

  • 8 incisors: cut the food. They are in the front and center of the mouth. Colloquially we refer to them as the two "blades" or "blades" and the teeth that are next to them on each jaw.
  • 4 canines: they tear the food, they are the most pointed teeth. They are what we commonly call “fangs”.
  • 8 premolars: grind food .
  • 12 molars: grind food.

en cada media mandíbula tenemos 2 incisivos, 1 canino, 2 premolares y 3 molares

Dientes de la parte derecha de la mandíbula inferior, by Basquetteur (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

What is the structure of a tooth like?

The teeth are formed by a substance called dentin, covered by enamel (in the part of the crown of the tooth) and cement (in the root of the tooth), and the dental pulp (nerves and blood vessels.

Estructura de un diente
Modifificado a partir de Sam Fentress [CC BY-SA 2.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The first teeth that appear are the milk teeth (or primary teeth or deciduous dentition), and there are 20, since the molars come out only once. When the milk teeth fall out, the adult denture with 32 teeth appears, forming the definitive dentition.

Niña de 6 años a la que se le caído su primer incisivo


         

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Biology and Geology teaching materials for Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) and Baccalaureate students.