The cyclic movement produced by the elevation and depression of the mandible as food is sheared and formed into a bolus in preparation for swallowing.
Mastication of food is the initial stage in the process of digestion
Large pieces of food are reduced for swallowing
The food is broken apart and the
surface area increased for the efficient action of digestive enzymes
and tofacilitate solubilisation of food substances in saliva tosimulate taste receptors
In mammals mastication is characterized by large verticalmovements of the lower jaw usually on one side of thedentition
in humans teeth are admirably designed for chewing.
anterior teeth (incisors) for cutting and posterior (molars)for grinding action.
force can be exerted as great as
55 pounds on incisors
200 pounds on molars
most of the chewing process is controlled by the nuclei inthe brain stem.
Much of the chewing process is caused by a
chewingreflex, which may be
explained as follows: