Skip main navigation

Summary of saliva


First, we know that we have three major pairs of salivary glands. The parotid gland produces a serous solution. The sublingual gland secretes mucous. And then the submandibular gland is a composition of both.

Besides the high-water content in saliva that keeps our mouth hydrated, other components amylase, protease, mucins, and some antimicrobial peptides in saliva provide a wide spectrum of functions that protect our mouth against diseases.

We also mentioned diseases related to salivary dysfunction like dry mouth and treatments currently used in clinics. For example, avoiding some medications, having good dietary habits, and application of artificial saliva will be helpful.

Using saliva as a diagnostic tool offers a non-invasive way to obtain the specimen, and it also provides accuracy for disease detection, for example, saliva-based tests for COVID-19 have been approved by FDA for EUA use.

There are a few questions I would like you to think about more deeply after class.

First, we know that saliva-based diagnostics offered so many advantages over traditional invasive methods. Why there are only a few FDA-approved tests available in the market?

The second question is, the pandemic will be over someday, what do we learn from it? Can we turn this distressing experience to the acceleration of developing more new saliva-based diagnostic platforms?

This article is from the free online

The Foundation of Modern Dentistry

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now