Gastrointestinal Tract

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A mouth is the part of our face that we use to eat, talk, and breathe. It has lips and teeth that help us chew food, and a tongue that helps us taste and move food around in our mouth. When we talk, our mouth makes different shapes with our lips and tongue to form different sounds.


The tongue plays a vital role in the digestive system by helping us taste, chew, and swallow food. As we chew, the tongue works with the teeth and saliva to break down the food into smaller pieces. Then, the tongue helps push it into the esophagus through a wave-like motion of its muscles, called swallowing.


Teeth are vital for biting, chewing, and grinding food, facilitating the critical process of mastication. This breaks down food into smaller pieces, increasing its surface area for digestion by enzymes. Additionally, teeth help initiate digestion by grinding food and mixing it with saliva.


The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach and transports food and liquids through peristalsis. Muscles in the mouth and throat help move food into the esophagus, where a wave of contractions pushes it toward the stomach. The esophagus' coordinated contraction and relaxation propel food or liquid to the stomach.


The stomach is an organ in the digestive system. Its main function is to break down the food we eat into smaller particles that can be easily absorbed by the body. When food enters the stomach through the esophagus, it is mixed with digestive juices and broken into chyme.

Large Intestine

The large intestine, or colon, is the final part of the digestive system. It is responsible for absorbing water, electrolytes, and some vitamins and forming and eliminating feces from the body. The colon is divided into several segments, including the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and rectum.

Small Intestine

The small intestine is a long, narrow tube about 20 feet long. It receives partially digested food from the stomach and completes the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also absorbs nutrients such as vitamins and minerals through villi on the intestine wall into the bloodstream to be used by the body for energy and other functions.


The rectum is a muscular chamber at the end of the large intestine that temporarily stores feces until elimination. Sphincters contract to keep feces in until we are ready to go to the bathroom, regulating pressure and allowing us to control bowel movements.


The anus is the end of the digestive tract responsible for eliminating waste. Sphincter muscles control the opening and closing of the anus. The internal anal sphincter relaxes to allow feces to pass, while the external anal sphincter can be voluntarily relaxed during defecation.