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Digestive System

Upper Gastrointestinal Tract

How are the teeth and tongue involved in chewing?

The first stage of mechanical digestion is mastication, or chewing. Initially, the teeth tear and shred large pieces of food into smaller units. The muscles of the tongue, cheeks, and lips help keep the food on the surfaces of the teeth. The tongue then compacts the food into a small round mass of material called the bolus. The salivary glands help lubricate the food with secretions so it is moist.



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