Dictionary » S » Saliva



(Science: physiology) The secretion from the salivary glands.

In man the saliva is a more or less turbid and slighty viscid fluid, generally of an alkaline reaction, and is secreted by the parotid, submaxillary, and sublingual glands. In the mouth the saliva is mixed with the secretion from the buccal glands. The secretions from the individual salivary glands have their own special characteristics, and these are not the same in all animals. In man and many animals mixed saliva, i.e, saliva composed of the secretions of all three of the salivary glands, is an important degestive fluid on account of the presence of the peculiar enzyme, ptyalin.

Origin: L.; cf. Gr. A clear liquid secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands and mucous glands of the mouth; moistens the mouth and starts the digestion of starches.A thick transparent liquid rich in digestive [[enzymes like [[amylase, used to break down foodstuff. Saliva is produced by the salivary glands of the mouth and the volume of saliva produced depends on the type of the food being eaten.

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