Learning anatomy/Oral cavity



The teeth (singular: tooth) are made up of parts shown below.

  • Crown
    • Enamel
    • Dentin
  • Neck
    • Gingiva
    • Pulp cavity
    • Pulp
  • Root
    • Cementum
    • Root canal
    • Periodontal ligament
    • Nerves and blood vessels
    • Alveolar bone
  • Jaw
    • Maxillae
    • Mandible



The teeth function to chew food. The types of teeth are the incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Incisors cut the food. The canines grip the food. The premolars and molars (from Latin: mola = grindstone) grind the food. A baby has 20 teeth, but they are not visible until they erupt through the gingiva (gums) and an adult has 32 teeth. The teeth help us speak.

Salivary glandEdit


The parotid, sublingual, and submandibular glands are major salivary glands. The other ones are minor salivary glands.  


The salivary glands make saliva. Saliva travels through ducts and then into the mouth.


Saliva has alpha-amylase which breaks down starch and lingual lipase which breaks lipids. Saliva also cleans the mouth.



The lingua (tongue) is made up of the base (root), body, and apex.


The lingua helps in speech. Saliva helps taste the food. The chemicals from the food travel from the lingual papillae to the taste buds. The lingua and saliva from the food bolus. It gets sent down the pharynx.


The mouth is also a passage for air.