A clear, tasteless, odorless, slightly acid (pH 6.8) viscid fluid, consisting of the secretion from the parotid, sublingual, and submandibular salivary glands and the mucous glands of the oral cavity; its function is to keep the mucous membrane of the mouth moist, to lubricate the food during mastication, and, in a measure, to convert starch into maltose, the latter action being effected by a diastatic enzyme, ptyalin. SYN: spittle. [L. akin to G. sialon]
- chorda s. the secretion of the submaxillary gland obtained by stimulation of the chorda tympani nerve.
- ganglionic s. submaxillary s. obtained by direct irritation of the gland.
- resting s. the s. found in the mouth in the intervals of food taking and mastication.
- sympathetic s. submaxillary s. obtained by stimulation of the sympathetic fibers innervating the gland.

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sa·li·va sə-'lī-və n a slightly alkaline secretion of water, mucin, protein, salts, and often a starch-splitting enzyme (as ptyalin) that is secreted into the mouth by salivary glands, lubricates ingested food, and often begins the breakdown of starches

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the alkaline liquid secreted by the salivary gland and the mucous membrane of the mouth. Its principal constituents are water, mucus, buffers, and enzymes (e.g. amylase). The functions of saliva are to keep the mouth moist, to aid swallowing of food, to minimize changes of acidity in the mouth, and to digest starch. See also dry mouth.
salivary adj.

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sa·li·va (sə-liґvə) [L.] the clear, alkaline, somewhat viscid secretion from the parotid, submaxillary, sublingual, and smaller mucous glands of the mouth. It serves to moisten and soften the food, keeps the mouth moist, and contains α-amylase, a digestive enzyme which converts starch into maltose. The saliva also contains mucin, serum albumin, globulin, leukocytes, epithelial debris, and potassium thiocyanate. Certain toxins frequently occur in it. salivary adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.