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Digestive System

How does food move through the esophagus?

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February 09, 2013 4:05PM

Saliva in the mouth moistens the food, while mastication (chewing) breaks the food into pieces. These enter the esophagus where gravity, the circular action of sliding against smooth muscle, and slight peristalsis moves the food into the stomach. Peristalsis is similar to gentle waves within the muscle walls of the esophagus. Peristalsis only and always moves in one direction: downward. Peristalsis in the intestines is stronger.
gravity my friend. gravity.