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Mouth (human)




Mouth (human)
Head and neck.
A human mouth, closed.
Latin cavitas oris
MeSH Oral+cavity
Dorlands/Elsevier c_16/12220513

The human mouth (or oral cavity) is the first portion of the alimentary canal that receives food and begins digestion by mechanically breaking up the solid food particles into smaller pieces and mixing them with saliva.


Additional recommended knowledge

Contents

Function

The mouth plays an important role in speech (it is part of the vocal apparatus), facial expression, kissing, eating, drinking (especially with a straw), breathing, and smoking.

Infants are born with a sucking reflex, by which they instinctively know to suck for nourishment using their lips and jaw.

Cultural aspects

According to general etiquette, the mouth is kept closed, especially when chewing.

Lips are often adorned with lipstick or lip gloss although in most human cultures this is an affectation for females only.

Piercings have been made popular by the younger generations. Lip, tongue, and the 'Monroe' (Monroe piercing is a stud piercing placed on one's face in the same area as Marilyn Monroe's well known and prominent birthmark was) are piercings seen in many varieties. Piercings of any sort besides two subtle earrings are seen as rebellious to the norm in many western cultures.

Development

The philtrum is the vertical groove in the upper lip, formed where the nasomedial and maxillary processes meet during embryo development. When these processes fail to fuse fully, a hare lip and/or cleft palate can result.

The nasolabial folds are the deep creases of tissue that extend from the nose to the sides of the mouth. One of the first signs of age on the human face is the increase in prominence of the nasolabial folds.

See also

Additional images

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mouth_(human)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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