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Our spit (saliva) plays a very large role in our overall health, especially in the oral cavity. Saliva protects our teeth and gums from bacteria and acids. It also lubricates the mouth and helps to begin the digestion process. It also plays a significant role in the complex process of taste. There are six major salivary glands and many more minor glands found in the cheeks, lips, bottom of the mouth, tongue, palate and pharynx.
The Von Ebner Glands (Serous Glands) are minor glands and are located on both sides toward the back of the tongue. Part of their job is to secrete amylase which is a digestive enzyme that helps to break down food as you chew. It is unique among the glands in the mouth for it’s other role: aiding with taste.
Salivary Glands and Taste
The tongue has over a thousand tastebuds. They are located on the spongy bumps; papillae. There are four kinds: filiform, fungiform, foliate and circumvallate. The Ebner Glands are near the foliate and circumvallate papillae. This is on the back and sides of the tongue. When you drink liquid or eat, the liquid the glands secrete will wash food particles over these protrusions sending flavor onto the taste receptors and then into the gustatory portion of the brain. Family Cosmetic Dentist Near Me Daphne AL
Research has found that von Ebner Glands also secrete a protein unlike any other that is found in the mouth. This protein is similar to a protein found in the nasal cavity that helps the olfactory receptors. This research has scientists thinking the Ebner Gland may play an even bigger role when it come to connecting flavors to the taste receptors. Family Cosmetic Dentist Near Me Daphne AL
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