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Digestive system

Mouth and throat

Mouth and throat

Your mouth is the beginning of your digestive system. The throat is situated behind the mouth and joins the pharynx to the oesophagus, the tube which takes food to the stomach. The mouth is covered with soft mucous membrane and smooth muscle generally resilient to bacteria and other infections.

Our tongue is a multi-skilled muscle which helps us to speak, kiss, and taste and position food for chewing before moving it to the back of the throat for swallowing. But like every muscle, it can grow tired with over-use and can be strained, which is why prolonged cock sucking and rimming can be exhausting and no longer a pleasure.

The tongue is covered in taste buds which can determine four primary taste sensations: sour, salt, bitter and sweet. All other flavours such as chocolate, pepper and coffee are combinations of these four, accompanied by the sense of smell. The tongue has several taste zones: salty and sweet (to the front and tip of the tongue), sour (to the sides) and bitter (to the back).

Saliva

The mouth contains three pairs of saliva glands: beneath the tongue, on either side and to the top of the mouth. Chemically, saliva is 99% water and 1% a digestive enzyme and (in addition to chewing) helps to break down and lubri­cate food before swallowing. Saliva also destroys bacteria to protect the mucous membrane from infection and the teeth from decay. Saliva is produced continuously to lubricate the mouth and to keep the tongue and lips moist. During stress, the production of saliva decreases to conserve water. A dry mouth contributes to the sensation of thirst and drinking will not only moisten the mouth but also help restore the body’s water and chemical balance (homeostasis).

Gagging, coughing and choking

Sensitive muscles towards back of the mouth detect sharp, rough or large objects and will trigger the gagging reflex to prevent them from passing into the throat. The coughing reflex also aims to remove foreign or unwanted objects from the throat and oesophagus such as large or sharp pieces of food, dust and pollen.

Consequently, deep throat sucking comes with practice as you re-programme your brain not to reflex. It’s also worth remembering that when we swallow, a small flap (the epiglottis) in the oesophagus usually closes the opening to the larynx which leads to the lungs.

When food or drink ‘goes down the wrong way’, the flap doesn’t close in time and we start to cough to get it out of the air­way and back on track down the oesophagus to the stomach. Choking, on the other hand, is when we don’t get enough air and our body reflexes, demanding more.

Mouth | Throat | Saliva | Wikipedia

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