The three large cephalic glands are each present in pairs. They produce about 90% of human saliva:
- The largest salivary glands, the parotid glands (parotid gland, parotid gland) are located on both sides in front of the ears.
- The submandibular glands (glandula submandibularis) are located on the inner side of the mandible.
- The sublingual glands (glandula sublingualis) are located in the floor of the mouth under the tongue.
Together with about 1,000 smaller individual (solitary) glands within the mucosa of the lips, oral cavity, and pharynx, the large glands supply 1,000 to 1,500 ml of saliva per day in a healthy person, or between 0.6 and 1 ml per minute. Secretion is 4 to 5 times higher during the day, when eating or due to certain stimuli, than at night when resting.
Saliva is composed mainly of water, electrolytes, proteins and enzymes. It protects and cleans the mucous membrane in the mouth and throat and is the first defense station for pathogens. It also breaks down starch as well as proteins in food for further processing in the stomach and transports their flavors. Here, the saliva liquefies the food and facilitates the swallowing process. Saliva is important for the tooth structure, as it neutralizes acids and hardens the enamel with its minerals. Finally, endogenous substances (e.g. iodine, antibodies) as well as foreign substances (antibiotics, heavy metals, viruses, etc.) are excreted via saliva.
The chip should help to support the function of the salivary glands.