The salivary glands are the glands which produce saliva. Saliva is the water-like and frothy substance which is produced in the mouth. The saliva is 98% water, and the other 2% consists of other substances. The saliva supports in the digestion process and also prevents tooth decay by breaking down the food particles stuck in the teeth.
When the saliva is not produced sufficiently, and dryness of mouth exists, the oral cavity becomes more vulnerable to bacterial infections and the teeth can decay easily. The salivary glands also produce certain enzymes, which are called amylase. This enzyme is very supportive in the processes of digestion. The salivary glands exist in the connective tissues. These glands are divided into lobules.
The salivary glands comprise of the following glands:
This is the biggest salivary gland. It exists around the mandibular ramus. The saliva produced by this gland reaches the oral cavity through the Stensens duct.
These are two glands which exist below the lower jaw. The secretion of these glands reaches the oral cavity via the Whartons duct. Although the parotid gland is the largest salivary gland the submandibular glands produce most of the overall saliva
These glands exist below the tongue. These glands produce mucous secretion.
Minor salivary glands
Hundreds of minor salivary glands exist in the oral cavity of every person. These minor salivary glands produce mucous secretion. The minor salivary glands also have the potential to cause problems pertaining to dentures.
Von Ebners glands
These glands exist in the circumvallate papillae of the tongue. The sense of taste is supported by these glands. These glands produce serous fluid.