Essay on Digestive Process

This essay has a total of 588 words and 3 pages.

Digestive Process

Digestive Process
By: Allison Santos-Martin

Digestive Process It is in the mouth, that the Thanksgiving feast begins its journey
through the fabulous digestive system. It is here that the lips, cheeks and tongue,
carefully position the food that the teeth will chew. This chewing process breaks up the
food, this being a part of mechanical digestion. While the teeth grind up the turkey and
tasty stuffings, the salivary glands begin emitting enzymes, these enzymes being contained
in saliva. This saliva helps to dissolve some foods, and adds mucus to make the food's
passage through the digestive system a little more "speedy". The saliva also attacks
dangerous microorganisms which enter the mouth. Saliva also contains an enzyme which helps
to break down carbohydrates into sugars. As the food is being ground and coated with
saliva, it's passed over the taste buds, which in turn send messages to the brain. The
brain uses this information to decide whether or not the food should be swallowed. The
food is then gathered into a ball, called a bolus, and it is pushed down into the pharynx
by way of the tongue. This bolus of "Thanksgiving meal" is then passed down the esophagus,
the esophagus being a 24cm long tube which connects the pharynx and stomach. Lining the
walls of the esophagus are rings of muscle which contract in waves, pushing the bolus down
the length of the esophagus. At the base of the esophagus, where the esophagus and stomach
join, a thick ring of muscle called a sphincter, is found. This sphincter acts like a
valve, as it allows food to pass into the stomach but does not permit it to pass back up
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