Physiology and function of the mouth

Michael P. Escudier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The mouth is an important organ as it is the entry point into the gastrointestinal tract and damage and disease can compromise dietary intake. Even very minor disorders can have a profound impact on nutritional status. This chapter describes number of structures of oral cavity. The main role of the mouth is to prepare food for swallowing via the oesophagus and its subsequent passage to the stomach. Salivary function is the most commonly assessed measure of oral function and can be achieved clinically by using the Challacombe dry mouth scale. Both dental caries and periodontal disease have been common for many years, non-carious tooth surface loss, particularly in the form of erosion, is a more recent development and is associated with modern lifestyle and dietary intake. Oral manifestations can arise either as a direct presentation of the condition itself or secondary to the effects of the condition or its treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Nutrition and Dietetics in Gastroenterology
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781118872796, 9780470671320
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2014


  • Dental disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Mouth
  • Oral manifestations


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