News tagged with saliva

Redefining dentistry through 'salivaomics'

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists from the UCLA School of Dentistry have been at the vanguard of research on human saliva in recent years, leading the way in the dynamic, emerging field of salivary diagnostics, ...

Oct 22, 2012
popularity not rated yet | comments 1 | with audio podcast

Preventing chronic pain with stress management

For chronic pain sufferers, such as people who develop back pain after a car accident, avoiding the harmful effects of stress may be key to managing their condition. This is particularly important for people with a smaller-than-average ...

Feb 25, 2013
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Saliva HIV test passes the grade

A saliva test used to diagnose the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is comparable in accuracy to the traditional blood test, according to a new study led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre ...

Jan 24, 2012
popularity 5 / 5 (1) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Saliva

Saliva (also referred to as spit , spittle or slobber) is the watery and usually frothy substance produced in the mouths of humans and most other animals. Saliva is produced in and secreted from the salivary glands. Human saliva is composed mostly of water, but also includes electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds, and various enzymes. As part of the initial process of food digestion, the enzymes in the saliva break down some of the starch and fat in the food at the molecular level. Saliva also breaks down food caught in the teeth, protecting them from bacteria that cause decay. Furthermore, saliva lubricates and protects the teeth, the tongue, and the tender tissues inside the mouth. Saliva also plays an important role in tasting food by trapping thiols produced from odourless food compounds by anaerobic bacteria living in the mouth.

Various species have evolved special uses for saliva that go beyond predigestion. Some swifts use their gummy saliva to build their nests. Some Aerodramus swiftlet nests are made only from saliva and used to make bird's nest soup. Cobras, vipers, and certain other members of the venom clade hunt with venomous saliva injected by fangs. Some arthropods, such as spiders and caterpillars, create thread from salivary glands.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA