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.
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.
Oral anatomy, histology and embryology. 3rd ed. New York: Mosby; 2002.
Histologia e embriologia bucodental. 2. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan; 2006.
Saliva: its secretion, composition and functions. Br Dent J. 1992;172:305-312.
A review of saliva: normal composition, flow, and function. J Prosthet Dent. 2001;85:162-169.
The physiologic and biochemistry of the mouth. 4th. ed. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications; 1978.
Physiological pharmaceutics: barriers to drug absorption. London: CRC Press; 2000.
A revolution in biomedical assessment: the development of salivary diagnostics. J Dent Educ. 2001;65:1335-1339.
Saliva. In: Thylstrup A, Fejerskov O. Textbook of clinical cariology. 2nd ed. Copenhagen: Munksgaard; 1994.
Saliva and oral health. 3rd ed. London: BDJ Books; 2004.
Physiological factors affecting salivary flow rate, oral sugar clearance, and the sensation of dry mouth in man. J Dent Res. 1987;66:648-653.
Diagnosis and risk prediction of dental caries. v. 2. Illinois: Quintessence books; 2000.
Tratado de fisiologia aplicada à saúde. 5. ed. São Paulo: Robe Editorial; 2002.
Oral histology: development, structure and function. 5th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 1998.
Salivary diagnostics: the future is now. J Am Dent Assoc. 2006;137:284-286.
Sánches La saliva: revisión sobre composición, función y usos diagnósticos: primera parte. Univ Odontol. 2003;23:18-24.
Understanding salivary fluid and protein secretion. Oral Dis. 2002;8:3-11.
Fisiologia. 2. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier; 2004.
Xerostomia: etiology and clinical management. Nutr Clin Care. 2001;4:15-21.
Salivary glands and the aging process: mechanistic aspects, health-status and medicinal-efficacy monitoring. Biogerontology. 2004;5:223-33.
Role of salivary mucins in the protection of the oral cavity. J Oral Pathol. 1982;11:1-17.
Biochemical composition of human saliva in relation to other mucosal fluids. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1995; 6:161-175.
Saliva: the defender of the oral cavity. Oral Dis. 2002;8:12-22.
Salivary composition in diabetic patients. J Diabet Complications. 1988;2:96-99.
Dental findings in chronic renal failure. Br Dent J. 1986;160:18-20.
The oral health status of children undergoing hemodialysis treatment. Turk J Pediatr. 2003;45:108-113.
Oro-dental health in children with chronic renal failure and after renal transplantation: a clinical review. Pediatr Nephrol. 2005;20:1388-1394.
Urea concentration in minor mucous gland secretions and the effect of salivary film velocity on urea metabolism by Streptococcus vestibularis in an artificial plaque. J Periodontal Res. 1991;26:395-401.
A química da cárie dentária e o flúor: mecanismos de ação. In: Thylstrup A, Fejerskov O. Cariologia clínica. 3. ed. São Paulo: Livraria Editora Santos; 2001.
Saliva flow rate, amylase activity, and protein and electrolyte concentrations in saliva after acute alcohol consumption. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2001;92:292-298.
The fungicidal effect of human lactoferrin on Candida albicans and Candida krusei. Arch Oral Biol. 1993;38:1057-1063.
Inhibition of the growth and cysteine proteinase activity of Porphyromonas gingivalis by human salivary cystatin S and chicken cystatin. Biol Chem. 1996;377:847-850.
Growth-inhibitory and bactericidal effects of human parotid salivary histidine-rich polypeptides on Streptococcus mutans. Infect Immun. 1984;44:695-701.
Biological role of an arginine residue present in a histidine-rich peptide which inhibits hemagglutination of Porphyromonas gingivalis. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1992;77:201-204.
Anti-lipopolysaccharide activity of histatins, peptides from human saliva. Experientia. 1993;49:1095-1097.
Anticandidal activity of major human salivary histatins. Infect Immun. 1991;59:2549-2554.
Effects of diet on salivary secretion and composition. J Dent Res. 1970;49:1263-1273.
Corpo humano: fundamentos de anatomia e fisiologia. 4. ed. Porto Alegre: Artmed; 2000.
Relationship between smoking and dental status in 35, 50, 65 and 75 year-old individuals. J Clin Periodontol. 1998;25:297-305.
Medication and dry mouth: findings from a cohort study of older people. J Public Health Dent. 2000;60:12-20.
Effect of chronic ethanol and nicotine consumption on the function and morphology of the salivary glands. Klin Wochenschr. 1988;66(Suppl 11):140-150.
Circadian rhythms in human salivary flow rate and composition. J Physiol. 1972;220:529-545.
Salivary enhancement: current status and future therapies. J Dent Educ. 2001;65:1096-1101.
Xerostomia: etiology, recognition and treatment. J Am Dent Assoc. 2003;134:61-69.
Produção e concentração de saliva e amilase salivar em crianças obesas. Arq Gastroenterol. 1997;34:105-111.
Saliva and dental health. Clinical implications of saliva: report of a consensus meeting. Br Dent J. 1990;169:96-98.
Urena, Saliva composition and exercise. Sports Med. 1998; 26:17-27.
The effect of single and repeated bouts of prolonged cycling and circadian variation on saliva flow rate, immunoglobulin A and alpha-amylase responses. J Sports Sci. 2004;22:1015-1024.
Protein content of human saliva in various psychoemotional states. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2003;68:405-406.
The influence of previous stimulation and the day of the week on the concentrations of protein and the main electrolytes in human parotid saliva. Arch Oral Biol. 1972;17:1289-1301.
Flow rates of resting whole and stimulated parotid saliva in relation to age and gender. J Dent Res. 1994;73:1416-1420.
Age-related changes in human sublingual glands: a post mortem study. Arch Oral Biol. 2005;50:565-574.
Quantitative age-related differences in human sublingual gland. Arch Oral Biol. 2006;51:960-966.
Comparison of whole saliva flow rates and mucin concentrations in healthy Caucasian young and aged adults. J Dent Res. 1992;71:1275-1278.
Avaliação sialométrica em indivíduos de terceira idade. Rev Odonto Ciênc. 2004;19:238-244.
Longitudinal influence of age, menopause, hormone replacement therapy, and other medications on parotid flow rates in healthy women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2000;55:34-42.
An assessment of salivary function in healthy premenopausal an postmenopausal females. J Gerontol. 1991;46:11-5.
Influence of age on the secretory rates of the human minor salivary glands and whole saliva. Arch Oral Biol. 1993;38:755-761.