Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Saliva

Fluid mixture excreted from the parotid gland, the sublingual gland, the submandibular gland, and the mucous glands of the oral cavity. Saliva consists of salts and proteins, including mucins, amylase, and ptyalin, which function to begin the process of digestion. In humans, saliva contains salivary amylase. In addition, saliva functions to provide moisture to hold the masticated food together as a bolus and it provides lubrication for the bolus as it travels through the esophagus.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"