Saliva, also known as spit, consists mainly of water (99.5%) and contains other dissolved components (0.5%) such as proteins, potassium, sodium and fluoride. In the various salivary glands of the head (submaxillary, sublingual and parotid glands), humans produce about 1.5 litres of saliva per day.
Saliva is mainly used to moisten the oral cavity. It helps prepare food for swallowing and supports speaking, tasting and smelling. Other tasks include making acids that are present in our food, for example, harmless and protecting the teeth through the mineral salts.
Disturbances in saliva flow can be noticed by too much or too little saliva production. Too much saliva is often caused by conditioned reflexes due to external influences (tasting, smelling, seeing food, anger, excitement). Too little saliva is noticed by dry mouth. This can be caused by certain diseases, therapies or medication. Clarification by an ENT specialist is advisable.
However, numerous infectious pathogens can also be transmitted with saliva. The best known are rabies and viral flu.