THE MOUTH and THE STOMACH – Part 2 and 3 of Digestion

The Mouth and The Stomach – is part two and three of my 5 part series on digestion. Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better.” Bruce Lee This quote sums up why I’m so adamant about learning and acquiring knowledge, and why I want to share what I’ve learned. The word doctor comes from the Latin word docēre, which means, to teach.

I hope you enjoy my take on THE MOUTH and THE STOMACH. Issues of the digestive tract are my specialty. If you are experiencing an issue with that area of your body or you know someone who does, I can or for more information.


The only point during the digestive process that is primarily under our voluntary control is when we are putting food into our mouth, chewing, or swallowing. Other than this brief period, where we can control our digestive fate, it’s all automatic.

We all have the option to chew are food well or simply gulp in down in just two or three chews. The latter does not bode well for achieving efficient and complete digestion, nor does it give us a leg-up on fighting potential bacterial or viral infection.

Proper chewing reduces the particle size of the food were eating into a smaller, more liquid state. This step makes it much easier and safer for the food to travel down the esophagus into the stomach. Proper chewing also allows the food to come into greater contact with saliva, which is of vital importance and the main reason we need to slow down and chew, chew, chew. Saliva is made up of enzymes, mucus, water, WBC’s, tissue cells (DNA), antimicrobial agents, and an antibody called secretory IgA. This important process helps to neutralize pathogenic virus and bacteria, buffer (neutralize) overly acidic food, lubricates the food and initiates the breakdown of starch (what people eat the most of, and when in excess, the cause of obesity and diabetes).

This phase of digestion is also the most rushed because it’s basically up to us to control it. Saliva is released in direct proportion to the amount of time food spends in the mouth. Only by chewing thoroughly will this action be allowed to occur. Today, take a moment and look around when you are out. Most of what people are experiencing in the way of disease and increased weight started by not knowing about, understanding, or appreciating this most important digestive step – chewing. The not so funny thing is that this is the step we have the most control over. What does this say about us?


The stomach’s primary purpose is that of a hollow muscle, which pulverizes the food we just chewed, into an acidic liquid called chyme. It does this through muscular contractions with the assistance of the enzymes, lipase and pepsin, and hydrochloric acid, which the stomach secretes if all is right in the world. See part 1 which talked about stress and digestion.

This process helps to liberate or breakdown further, protein and minerals. It will also kill or inhibit virus or bacteria that did not get handled in the mouth, as well as assist in the proper absorption of vitamin B-12 and iron.

Again, this digestive step works only to the degree that your stress-level, while eating, and mouth component are fully dialed-in. If there is too much stress (eating on the run) and the food was gulped down, HCl is not produced in sufficient quantities and motility/pulverization (peristalsis)  is inhibited. This can lead to constipation, a bacterial infection in the stomach or small intestine, anemias, nutrient deficiencies, abdominal pain and much more.

Exercises to practice for better digestion and better health:

  • Eat with Purpose. We are a precision instrument, not a garbage can.
  • Eat In a Stress-Free Location.
  • Be calm when you eat. Really taste your food. Try to distinguish individual tastes and textures.
  • Chew your food thoroughly.
  • Do not drink a lot of liquid with your meal.

Phases of Digestion Series

Part 1 of the 5 Phases of Digestion – How Our Stress Level Affects Digestion And Assimilation
Parts 2 and 3 of the 5 Phases of Digestion – The Mouth and The Stomach
Part 4 of the 5 Phases of Digestion – The Small Intestine
Part 5 of the 5 Phases of Digestion – The Large Intestine/Colon


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Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend,

Dr. Marcus Ettinger

Marcus Ettinger