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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

Publication:
November 1993
Volume 24 , Issue 11

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Protective and maintenance functions of human saliva

Hall

Pages: 813-816
PMID: 20830897

The role of human saliva has traditionally been considered to be to aid in digestion. However, saliva’s major role is not digestion but the protection and maintenance of the alimentary canal, espcially the oral cavity. Loss of salivary flow may be devastating to a patient. Simple tasks such as speaking, chewing, and swallowing may become arduous and uncomfortable. Oral infections and mucosal irritations may drastically affect the patient’s systemic and oral well-being. Plaque-mediated diseases and fungal infections may prevail in teha bsence of saliva. Understanding the functions of saliva and recognizing signs and symptoms of salivary dysfunction will allow increased evaluation and awareness of the salivary-distressed patient.

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