Mouth | Definition, Synonyms, Antonyms & Anatomy


Mouth is the part of our face. It is also recognized as Oral Cavity. In Latin, it is known as Os or oris. It plays a significant role in assisting us in our everyday routine functions such as eating, drinking, breathing, and speaking.

We can remain healthy by taking proper care of our mouths. We can reduce the threat of a broad range of dental and medical conditions by taking care of our mouths.

Definition of Mouth

It is the opening cavity in the lower part of the human face. It is surrounded by the lips through which food is taken in and vocal sounds are emitted.

Etymology of Mouth

This word originates from Old English muth of Germanic origin related to Dutch mond and German Mund from an Indo-European root shared by the Latin mentum chin.


  • Jaws
  • Face
  • Mug
  • Gob
  • Yap
  • Piehole
  • Chops
  • Maw
  • Laughing gear
  • Muzzles
  • Traps


  • Conceal
  • Hide
  • Be quiet
  • Keep
  • Secrete
  • Deny
  • Mumble
  • Suppress
  • Refrain

Functions of Mouth

It is an oval-shaped cavity. It not only plays a fundamental role in the initial intake and digestion of food and water but also is necessary for the formation of talking and normal respiration. The main functions of the  are:

  • Eating
  • Speaking
  • Breathing
  • Talking
  • Chewing
  • Tasting
  • Swallowing
  • Eating
  • Drinking

Mouth Function in Digestive System

This process begins in the mouth when we chew. Salivary glands make saliva when we chew food and moisten food so that it can move without problems through our throats into our stomachs. Also, it has an enzyme that begins to break down starches in our food.

Mouth Function in the Respiratory System

Firstly, air enters the body through the mouth like the nose. It moistens and warms the air because the cold and dry air can irritate the lungs.

Then, the air travels past the voice box and down the windpipe. Ring of tough tissues which are known as cartilage. It acts as a support to keep the bronchial tubes open.

Trigeminal Nerve

Also, it is known as Cranial Nerve V. It helps us to recognize aches, feels, and temperature sensations such as cold and hot. It helps with:

  • Biting, Chewing, and Swallowing
  • Facial & Scalp Sensations


It has main 3 branches which are:


This branch sends nerve impulses from the upper part of the face and scalp to the brain. It refers to the eye and relates to the eyes, upper eyelids, and forehead.


This branch is responsible for sensations in the center part of the face. It refers to the upper jaw and extends to the nose, lower eyelids, cheeks, upper lip, and gums.


This branch helps sensation to the inferior part of the face like jaws, lower lip, and gum. Also, it has a motor function and assists in swallowing, biting, and chewing.

Anatomy of Mouth

The structure of the mouth involves:


Lips are the two plumpy folds that encircle the hole of the mouth. They are made up of integument externally and of mucous membrane internally among which are found the Orbicularis oris muscle, several nerves, areolar tissue, fat, labial vessels,  and several small labial glands.


It is the space between the soft tissue such as lips and cheeks and hard tissues like the teeth and gums.

It is kept humid by secretions from the parotid salivary glands which are placed in front of the ears and at the back angle of the jaw.

Mouth Cavity:

It is surrounded by many structures. The alveolar arches are the bony structures that contain the teeth that surround the mouth cavity at the front and on the sides.

Overhead are the hard and soft palates and under is the tongue. This cavity is kept wet by secretions from the sub-maxillary and sublingual salivary glands placed on the floor of the mouth below the tongue.


They are the pink tissues in the upper and lower jaws. It surrounds the base of the teeth. They are made up of fibrous and dense tissues.

It lines the alveolar arches and hugs the teeth. It is vital to save gums because the diseases of gums may cause tooth and bone loss.


It is part of the digestive system. It breaks the food before the swallow. Humans have 32 teeth.

By the age of 3 years, a kid has approximately 20 teeth which are known as milky or baby teeth. At the ages of 6 or 7 years, the teeth are replaced permanently.


It comprises hard and soft palates. The frontal part is the hard palate and is supported by the bones. The posterior part is the soft palate and is supported by the skeletal muscle and connective tissue.


It is made with muscle fibers. It is separated into an oral portion that involves a tip, blade, front, center, and back, and a pharyngeal section. The tongue helps us to taste, speak, and swallow.

Minor Salivary Glands:

These are the small glands under the lining of the mouth and the throat. It keeps the mouth moist by making the clear fluid. It has enzymes to break the food. They are found in different locations around the mouth involving the inner cheeks.

Conditions & Disorders

Common conditions that can affect are:

  • Halitosis
  • Xerostomia
  • Infection
  • Dental Injuries

Some of the conditions that can affect the specific parts are:


  • Dental Plaque
  • Tartar
  • Cavities
  • Abscessed Tooth
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth


  • Gingivitis
  • Pregnancy Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Gum Recession
  • Bleeding Gums
  • Swollen Gums


  • Cleft Lip & Palate
  • Submucous Cleft Palate
  • Torus Palatinus

Soft Tissues:

  • Mouth Ulcer
  • Canker Sores
  • Cold Sores
  • Oral Lichen Planus
  • Erythroplakia

Salivary Glands:

  • Sialadenitis
  • Sialolithiasis
  • Parotitis
  • Pleomorphic Adenoma
  • Mumps


  • Tongue-tie
  • Macroglossia
  • Glossitis
  • Geographic Tongue
  • Yellow Tongue
  • White Tongue
  • Black Hairy Tongue
  • Spots on Tongue
  • Burned Tongue

Taste buds:

  • Hypergeusia
  • Hypogeusia
  • Dysgeusia
  • Ageusia
  • Phantom Taste disorder

Cancerous Conditions

  • Oral Cancer
  • Lip Cancer
  • Head & Neck Cancer
  • Verrucous Carcinoma
  • Salivary Gland Cancer
  • Buccal Mucosa Cancer
  • Hard Palate Cancer


  • Ali kissed her on her mouth.
  • Saba wiped her mouth with a napkin.
  • Ahmad opened his mouth.
  • Open your mouth.
  • Sara threatened him to punch his mouth.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How can we keep our mouths healthy?

  • By avoiding smoking
  • By brushing teeth daily
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Visiting a dentist twice a year

Mention the diseases of the mouth.

  • Dental caries
  • Tooth loss
  • Oral cancers

Which enzymes are in the mouth?

  • Salivary amylase
  • Lingual lipase

Name the 4 components of the saliva.

  • Water
  • Enzymes
  • Immunoproteins
  • Minerals

Which medicines are best for the infection of the mouth?

  • Amoxicillin
  • Azithromycin
  • Cefoxitin
  • Penicillin
  • Clindomyacin
  • Metronidazole
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