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Answered 2008-05-08 17:46:51

The first structures involved in digesting carbohydrates are the tongue, teeth & jaws. * Jaw muscles move the teeth * Teeth grind up the food into smaller particles, exposing more surface area to salivary amylase - a digestive enzyme present in the saliva which break down complex carbohydrates into shorter polysaccharides. * The tongue is a muscular structure: it moves the food around the mouth so that all the teeth can work on it, mixes the food with the amylase & with saliva (for lubrication) & forms it into a bolus (bit like a slimy ball) & finally forces the food to the back of the mouth ready for swallowing.

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