These produce the clear liquid that is released into the mouth (saliva, or spit). There are three pairs of major salivary glands and many minor glands. Saliva lubricates the mouth and starts the breakdown of chewed food. It is made up of water, enzymes, mucin and protein.

  • The parotid is the largest salivary gland and is situated below the ear. The saliva is released through an opening called the parotid duct which enters the mouth on the inside of the cheek next to the upper molar teeth. There is one on each side.
  • The submandibular salivary gland is situated under the mandible (lower jaw bone) and releases saliva just underneath the front of the tongue, behind the front teeth. There is one on each side.
  • The sublingual salivary glands are situated under the tongue and release saliva from many small openings (ducts) under the tongue. This pair of salivary glands sit next to each other under the tongue.
  • Did you know?

    Research has proven that chewing sugarfree gum like Orbit stimulates the production of saliva by up to 10 times the normal unstimulated rate.*

    *DAWES, C.; MACPHERSON, LMD. (1992): Effects of Nine Different Chewing-Gums and Lozenges on Salivary Flow Rate and pH, Caries Res., 26:176-182.
    *SHANNON, L.L.; FROME,W.J. (1973): Enhancement of Salivary Flow Rate and Buffering Capacity, J. Canad. Dent.Assn. 3:177-181.
    *ROSENHEK, M.; DAWES, C.; MACPHERSON, L.M.D. (1992):The Effects of Chewing Gum and Gum-base Stick Size on Salivary Flow Rate, J. Dent. Res.,Vol. 71,Abstract #608.