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What is the mouth's role in the digestive system?

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The mouth is the beginning of the digestive system -- digestion starts there before you even take the first bite of a meal. The smell of food triggers the salivary glands in your mouth to secrete saliva, causing your mouth to water.

Once you start chewing and breaking the food down into pieces small enough to be digested, more saliva is produced. It has enzymes that begin breaking down food into a form your body can take in and use. Chew your food more -- it helps with digestion.

SOURCES: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (Division of NIDDK/NIH). American Medical Association.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 8, 2020

SOURCES: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (Division of NIDDK/NIH). American Medical Association.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 8, 2020

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What is the pharynx role in the digestive system?

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