Human Anatomy and Physiology : Help with Mouth, Pharynx, and Esophagus Physiology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Human Anatomy and Physiology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Digestive Physiology

Which macromolecule can begin digestion in the mouth?

Possible Answers:

Carbohydrates

Triglycerides

Proteins

Nucleotides

Correct answer:

Carbohydrates

Explanation:

Saliva contains the enzyme alpha amylase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down starch and carbohydrates into smaller polysaccharide chains.

Later, in the small intestine, pancreatic beta amylase further digests the carbohydrates until they can be absorbed into the blood. Most chemical digestion occurs in the small intestine, where enzymes to digest proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates are introduced to the digestive tract.

Example Question #2 : Digestive Physiology

Which of the following is the start of the gastrointestinal tract?

Possible Answers:

Pharynx

Stomach

Mouth

Esophagus

Correct answer:

Mouth

Explanation:

The mouth is the start of the gastrointestinal tract. It is the site of both mechanical and chemical digestion via chewing, and saliva, respectively. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase that breaks down carbohydrates. 

Example Question #3 : Digestive Physiology

In which part of the digestive system does carbohydrate digestion begin?

Possible Answers:

Stomach

Esophagus

Pharynx

Mouth

Small intestine

Correct answer:

Mouth

Explanation:

The correct answer is mouth. While each answer choice has a part in the digestion process, carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth, which provides enzymes required for starch (amylase) and sugar (lactase, maltase, sucrase) digestion.

Carbohydrate digestion (starches and sugars) begins in the mouth with the enzyme salivary amylase. Amylase, which is also found in the small intestine, is responsible for breaking apart starches. Sugars are also digested (broken down) by three major enzymes located in the mouth and small intestine (lactase, maltase, sucrase). The carbohydrates are broken down along the gastrointestinal tract (mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach) and are absorbed while moving through the small intestine.

 

Example Question #4 : Digestive Physiology

Which of the following extrinsic muscles of the tongue is responsible for depression and protrusion?

Possible Answers:

Vertical muscle

Hyoglossus

Genioglossus

Styloglossus

Palatoglossus

Correct answer:

Genioglossus

Explanation:

Styloglossus: elevates and retracts tongue

Hyoglossus: depresses and retracts the tongue

Palatoglossus: elevates the tongue

Vertical muscles: this is an intrinsic muscle of the tongue

Example Question #5 : Digestive Physiology

What is the definition of "deglutition"?

Possible Answers:

Urinating

Chewing

Voiding

Swallowing

Correct answer:

Swallowing

Explanation:

"Deglutition" is the scientific term for swallowing. In contrast, the scientific term for chewing is "mastication." The scientific term for urination is "micturition." Lastly, "voiding" is also another word for urination. 

Example Question #6 : Digestive Physiology

Which of the following does not begin digestion in the mouth?

Possible Answers:

polysaccharides

lipids

proteins

glucose

Correct answer:

proteins

Explanation:

Proteins need pepsin in order to begin digestion, and that enzyme is only produced in the stomach — not the mouth.

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