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VOLUME 9 , ISSUE 3 ( March, 2008 ) > List of Articles


Saliva Composition and Functions: A Comprehensive Review

Luciana Reis Azevedo, Antônio Adilson Soares De Lima, Maria Ângela Naval Machado, Ana Maria Trindade Grégio, Patricia Del Vigna de Almeida

Citation Information : Azevedo LR, De Lima AA, Machado MÂ, Grégio AM, de Almeida PD. Saliva Composition and Functions: A Comprehensive Review. J Contemp Dent Pract 2008; 9 (3):72-80.

DOI: 10.5005/jcdp-9-3-72

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-09-2009

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2008; The Author(s).



The aim of this study was to perform a literature review about the composition and functions of saliva as well as describe the factors that influence salivary flow (SF) and its biochemical composition.


Saliva represents an increasingly useful auxiliary means of diagnosis. Sialometry and sialochemistry are used to diagnose systemic illnesses, monitoring general health, and as an indicator of risk for diseases creating a close relation between oral and systemic health.


This review provides fundamental information about the salivary system in terms of normal values for SF and composition and a comprehensive review of the factors that affect this important system.


Since several factors can influence salivary secretion and composition, a strictly standardized collection must be made so the above-mentioned exams are able to reflect the real functioning of the salivary glands and serve as efficient means for monitoring health.

Clinical Significance

Since many oral and systemic conditions manifest themselves as changes in the flow and composition of saliva the dental practitioner is advised to remain up-to-date with the current literature on the subject.


de Almeida PDV, Grégio AMT, Machado MÂN, de Lima AAS, Azevedo LR. Saliva Composition and Functions: A Comprehensive Review. J Contemp Dent Pract 2008 March; (9)3:072-080.

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