The Human Body

Salivary Glands

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Salivary Glands, glands that secrete saliva, a somewhat alkaline fluid that moistens the mouth, softens food, and aids in digestion. The submaxillary glands are located around the mouth under the lower jaw, the sublingual glands are located beneath the tongue, and the parotid glands are found in front of each ear. The buccal glands, in the cheeks near the front of the mouth, also secrete saliva. The saliva of the parotid gland contains enzymes called amylases, one of which, known as ptyalin, aids in the digestion of carbohydrates.

In human beings the salivary glands, especially the parotid, are affected by the disease called mumps, a viral disease most common among children, although adults can also be infected.