Oral Cavity: Teeth and Tongue

Taste buds contain the receptors for taste. They are located around the small structures on the upper surface of the tongue, soft palate, upper esophagus and epiglottis, which are called papillae. [1] These structures are involved in detecting the five (known) elements of taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and savory. Via small openings in the tongue epithelium, called taste pores, parts of the food dissolved in saliva come into contact with taste receptors. These are located on top of the taste receptor cells that constitute the taste buds. The taste receptor cells send information detected by clusters of various receptors and ion channels to the gustatory areas of the brain via the seventh, ninth and tenth cranial nerves.
On average, the human tongue has 2,000–8,000 taste buds.[2]
source;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste_budhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste_bud
source: http://www.voicecraft.net/glossary.htm
CHECK OUT: Oral Cavity from "The Visual Dictionary"

source; http://www.agaveclinic.com/EN/cleft_velum.php
source; http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/nose-throat/tongue2.htm
Caption: Tongue papillae. Light micrograph of a longitudinal section through filiform papillae on the tongue surface. Papillae are the tiny projections that give the tongue its rough texture. The filiform papillae (conical structures) are the most numerous type of papilla. They consist of a surface projection, which is mainly keratin (a structural protein, stained red), and may contain a connective tissue core. They serve a solely mechanical function; other types of papilla are involved in tasting and sensing touch. Magnification unknown. source; http://www.sciencephoto.com/images/download_lo_res.html?id=700012132
Caption: Tongue surface. False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the surface of the human tongue. This image clearly shows the intricate pattern of minute surface projections (papillae). By far the more numerous are filiform papillae (blue), also known as conical papillae, which have mechanical and tactile (touch) functions. These papillae also form a rough surface which helps in the chewing and manipulation of food. Fungiform papillae (round, pink) are less numerous, and are well supplied with blood; they contain taste buds under their surface, thus playing a sensory role. Magnification: x94 at 6x7cm, x47 at 35mm size.source; http://www.sciencephoto.com/images/imagePopUpDetails.html?pop=1&id=804780029&pviewid=&country=67&search=&matchtype=FUZZY
source: http://www.tutorvista.com/biology/structure-of-the-tongue
These are located on top of the taste receptor cells that constitute the taste buds. The taste receptor cells send information detected by clusters of various receptors and ion channels to the gustatory areas of the brain via the seventh, ninth and tenth cranial nerves. On average, the human tongue has 2,000–8,000 taste buds. Contrary to popular understanding that different tastes map to different areas of the tongue, taste qualities are found in all areas of the tongue, although some regions are more sensitive than others. Each taste bud is flask-like in shape, its broad base resting on the corium, and its neck opening, the gustatory pore, between the cells of the epithelium. The bud is formed by two kinds of cells: supporting cells and gustatory cells. The supporting (sustentacular) cells are mostly arranged like the staves of a cask, and form an outer envelope for the bud. Some, however, are found in the interior of the bud between the gustatory cells. The gustatory (taste) cells, a chemoreceptor, occupy the central portion of the bud; they are spindle-shaped, and each possesses a large spherical nucleus near the middle of the cell.

(Source: National Geographic/ Wikipedia) source: http://thefutureofthings.com/pod/9623/tongue-papillae.html
The nasopharynx (nasal part of the pharynx) is the uppermost part of the pharynx. It extends from the base of the skull to the upper surface of the soft palate;[1] it differs from the oral and laryngeal parts of the pharynx in that its cavity always remains patent (open).
source;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasopharynx

source: http://helmizakariah.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html
The esophagus (or oesophagus; see spelling differences), sometimes known as the gullet, is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. During swallowing food passes from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus and travels via peristalsis to the stomach. The word esophagus is derived from the Latin Å“sophagus, which derives from the Greek word oisophagos , lit. "entrance for eating." In humans the esophagus is continuous with the laryngeal part of the pharynx at the level of the C6 vertebra. The esophagus passes through posterior mediastinum in thorax and enters abdomen through a hole in the diaphragm at the level of the tenth thoracic vertebrae (T10). It is usually about 25–30 cm long and connects the mouth to the stomach. It is divided into cervical, thoracic and abdominal parts. Due to the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle, the entry to the esophagus opens only when swallowing or vomiting.
source;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esophagus

source: http://healthguide.howstuffworks.com/esophagus-picture.htm

source: http://www.pitt.edu/~anat/Chest/Esophagus/Esoph.htm

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