The mouth begins with the lips and ends with the arch-like structure over the back of the tongue and in front of the tonsils.This arched curtain, with the peg-like piece of flesh (uvula) hanging down in the center, separates the mouth cavity from the throat or pharynx.
The latter is the back parlor, containing the tonsils right behind the arched curtain, on each side of the root of the tongue. The domed roof of the mouth is formed by the hard palate which ends in the back, near the arched curtain , in a soft portion called the soft palate.
The hard palate has a bony structure above, the soft palate does not.Cheeks enclose the mouth on both sides.Besides the tongue, with its special sense of the taste, and the teeth, the mouth has opening into it the ducts of the salivary glands.The saliva continually secreted by these ducts not only makes the food moist, facilitating chewing and swallowing, but also helps digest the starchy foods by means of enzymes.It contains ptyalin and maltase, acting on carbohydrates
The ducts of the salivary glands sometimes get obstructed either by inflammation around the opening or by the formation of stonelike deposits. Because the saliva cannot come out, the gland will swell up, forming a painless lump under the jaw or near the ear.
Rinsing the mouth frequently with hot salt water and applying a hot water bag over the swelling will usually dissolve and force out the tiny stones. Never feel panic stricken if it takes 2 or 3 days to get rid of the discomfort.
Inflammation around the salivary ducts may be produced by the sharp edge of a tooth, or irritating bridgework, or badly fitting dentures. Your dentist should take care of that.
A disagreeable metallic taste, with greatly increased salivation and soreness in the mouth, often accompanies the use of two different kinds of metal in bridgework, for instance a silver filling near much gold work. The two metals set up a low-grade electric current which starts chemical reactions and irritation of the tissues.
But sometimes the symptoms mentioned indicate decaying teeth, gum infection, disturbance in the stomach and intestines, mouth breathing, or even serious organic disease