The mouth contains several salivary glands. These glands produce the liquid which we call saliva. There are three main pairs of salivary glands and some smaller ones. Try to find at least one pair of salivary glands in your mouth. Use your tongue to help search for the glands and to feel the saliva as it comes out. If you think of, or watch, someone sucking an orange it may make the saliva flow faster. This makes the glands easier to find.

The total amount of saliva produced in 24 hours by an adult is probably about 600 cm3. However, it is difficult to measure and varies from one person to another. Some estimates give a figure as large as 1500 cm3 of saliva each day. Being Produced in salivary glands, saliva is almost 99 percent water. Among other components of saliva are electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial substances, as well as several enzymes.

The main digestive function of saliva is moistening of food and creating a food bolus (for a person to be able to swallow it). Moreover, salivary glands produce the hormone Gustin that is believed to be very significant in development of taste buds.

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