The mouth is the part of the body that has a lot of very important functions, but the two functions that it is most used for are for eating and for speaking. It uses its many different parts for both functions. It has a lot of parts, some of which are the teeth, lips, gums, tongue, and tonsils. Its bigger parts that connect it to the rest of the skull are the lower and upper jaw. The lower jaw is that which moves up and down to enable the opening and closing of the mouth, and the upper jaw is that which connects the mouth to the rest of the skull. The following is a breakdown that hopes to simplify the fascinating anatomy of the human mouth.

Mouth Anatomy


Any normal human past the age of 2 to 3 years of age has been able to maximize the use of their mouth for eating. It works like a machine in perfect synchronization when being used to eat. When you insert food into your mouth, the front teeth first cut it into pieces that are fit to the size of the mouth. The side teeth then chew and shred the piece that is left. Your molar teeth, the teeth at the back of the line and are bigger and thicker than the front teeth, are used to further crush and grind it into the smallest pieces possible. This process is called “chewing” or “mastication.”

This process of chewing is not possible without the saliva that is produced by the salivatory glands on the tongue, which have the proper enzymes that can be used to chemically break down the food into something that is easily digestible by the stomach. The tongue and the side muscles, called “cheeks,” then move in motion together to move the food from your mouth to your esophagus. This is then called the process of “swallowing.” But the pleasure of eating is all derived from the taste buds, which are on the tongue, and are responsible for sending the sensation to your brain. The brain then determines whether or not you enjoy the taste of the food. This whole amazing process all takes place every time there is a piece of food in your mouth that you wish to eat, and takes less than a minute to finish.


When our speech comes out from the mouth, there are actually three processes that happen before the words are actualized. There is first the conceptualization of the thought that one wishes to express, which all happens in the brain. The second process is the formulation of the linguistic form that this thought needs to take appearance in. And last but certainly not the least is the articulation of the speech, which involves numerous parts of the mouth to work together, namely the tongue, lips, and jaw. These parts of the mouth work with the lungs, larynx, glottis, and other vocal chords and apparatus that the body has. These three processes, when put together, are what we then call the miracle of our human speech. The most fascinating part is that these three processes can happen in a fraction of a second, and can be improved according to how much information is stored in the brain and the level of ability that the person has to articulate his/her thought processes.

© Copyright 2010-2012