It is a clear fluid produced by various glands in the mouth area. Saliva is an important part of a healthy body. It is composed mainly of water. But saliva also contains important substances your body needs to digest food and keep your teeth strong.

Saliva is important because:

  • Keeps your mouth moist and comfortable.
  • It helps you chew, taste and swallow.
  • It fights germs in the mouth and prevents bad breath.
  • It has proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel and prevent cavities and gum disease.
  • Helps keep dentures securely in place.

You make saliva when you chew. The harder you chew, the more saliva you will produce. Sucking on hard candy or a cough drop also helps produce saliva. The glands that produce saliva are called salivary glands. Salivary glands are located inside each cheek, at the bottom of the mouth, and near the front teeth next to the jawbone.

There are six major salivary glands and hundreds of minor ones. Saliva moves through tubes called salivary ducts. Normally, the body produces 2 to 4 pints of saliva a day. Usually, the body produces the most saliva in the late afternoon. He does the least amount at night. But everyone is different. What doctors consider a normal amount of saliva varies quite a bit. That makes diagnosing saliva problems challenging.

Very little saliva

Certain illnesses and medications can affect the amount of saliva you produce. If you don’t produce enough saliva, your mouth can become quite dry. This condition is called dry mouth (xerostomia). A dry mouth causes the gums, tongue, and other tissues in the mouth to swell and feel uncomfortable. Germs thrive in this type of environment. A dry, germ-filled mouth leads to bad breath. A dry mouth also makes you more likely to quickly develop cavities and gum (periodontal) disease.

That’s because saliva helps remove food particles from your teeth. This helps reduce the risk of cavities. If you have a dry mouth, you may also notice that things don’t taste like they used to. Dry mouth is common in older adults, although the reasons are not clear. Diseases that affect the whole body (systemic disorders), poor nutrition and the use of certain medications are thought to play a key role. Lack of saliva and dry mouth can be caused by:

  • Certain diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, and Parkinson’s
  • Blockage in one or more tubes that drain saliva (salivary duct obstruction)
  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Dehydration
  • “fight or flight” stress response
  • Structural problem with a salivary duct
  • smoking cigars

Hundreds of commonly used medications are known to affect saliva flow and cause dry mouth, such as:

  • antihistamines
  • medication for anxiety
  • appetite suppressants
  • Certain types of blood pressure medications
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • most antidepressants
  • Certain analgesics (analgesics)

Always ask your health care provider about the side effects you may have from taking medicine.

Saliva: An all-rounder of our body - ScienceDirect

What can I do if I have very little saliva?

Try these tips to help keep your salivary glands healthy and your mouth moist and comfortable:

  • drink plenty of water
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Sugar free candy sucks

If dry mouth persists, your doctor or dentist may recommend that you rinse your mouth with artificial saliva. Artificial saliva is a liquid or spray that is sold without a prescription. It can be used as many times as necessary. Artificial saliva helps keep the mouth moist and comfortable. But it doesn’t contain the proteins, minerals, and other substances found in real saliva that help with digestion.

Too much saliva

Too much saliva is usually not something to worry about unless it persists. It is normal to produce more or less saliva depending on what you eat or drink. Your body usually takes care of the excess saliva by swallowing more. You may produce too much saliva if:

  • One or more salivary glands are overactive
  • you have trouble swallowing

It is normal for your salivary glands to go into overdrive when you eat very spicy foods. The taste buds on your tongue play an important role in the amount of saliva you produce. Put something spicy or very sour in your mouth and your taste buds react by telling your body to produce more saliva. Acidic foods tend to cause much more saliva than sweet foods. If excess saliva bothers you, try changing your diet.

If you have a lot of salivae all the time, let your health care provider know. It could be the side effect of a medication or the result of a medical condition or disease. If you have trouble swallowing, you may feel like you have a lot of saliva in your mouth and you may drool. Chronic drooling is most often seen in people who have poor muscle control over their face and mouth.

Diseases and health conditions that can cause too much saliva to include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • An enlarged tongue (macroglossia)
  • intellectual disability
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Poisoning
  • Pregnancy (usually seen in those with extreme nausea and vomiting)
  • Rage
  • Career

Medications that can cause too much saliva to include:

  • Some anti-seizure medications such as Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Schizophrenia medication called clozapine (Clozaril, Fazaclo ODT)
  • Salagen (pilocarpine), which is used to treat dry mouth in people receiving radiation therapy

What can I do if I have too much saliva?

Treatment for excess saliva depends on the cause of the problem. May include:

  • prescription medicine
  • Botox injections
  • Surgery

Your doctor will likely first recommend a prescription medication to help reduce the amount of saliva you make. Such drugs include glycopyrrolate and scopolamine. Common side effects include trouble urinating, fast heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, and drowsiness. If you have severe drooling, your doctor may suggest Botox injections into one or more salivary glands.

This treatment is considered safe, but the results only last a few months. You will need to have more Botox injections in the future. In severe cases, surgery may be done to remove a salivary gland or reroute a salivary duct. This type of surgery usually provides a permanent cure for excess saliva.



What is an antigen?

In general, antigens are composed of proteins, peptides, and polysaccharides. Any portion of bacteria or viruses, such as surface protein, coat, capsule, toxins, and cell wall, can serve as an antigen. Furthermore, a combination of lipids or nucleic acids with proteins or polysaccharides can form more complex antigens, such as lipopolysaccharides.

Lipopolysaccharides are the main ingredients of endotoxins produced by gram-negative bacteria. An antigen contains distinct sites on its surface, called an epitope or antigenic determinant. Antibodies raised against an antigen recognize and interact with specific epitopes through antigen-binding sites (paratopes) to trigger immune responses.

What are the types of antigens?

Antigens are classified primarily based on their origins. For example, antigens that enter the body from outside through ingestion, inhalation, or injection are called exogenous antigens. These include pathogens, chemicals, toxins, allergens, pollens, etc.

Autoantigens or autoantigens are normal cellular proteins or a complex of proteins that are mistakenly attacked by the immune system, leading to autoimmune diseases. A normal self protein becomes a self-antigen due to impaired immunological tolerance, which can be caused by genetic or environmental factors.

Tumour antigens are produced due to tumour-specific mutations that occur during the neoplastic transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. These antigens are expressed on the surface of cancer cells to be recognized by the immune system. However, despite expressing cell surface antigens, most cancer cells acquire the ability to escape immune-mediated clearance.

What are haptens?

Haptens are small molecules that can trigger an immune response only when combined with a carrier protein. The hapten-carrier protein complex is called an adduct. Urushiol, an allergen from poison ivy, is an example of a hapten that causes contact dermatitis. After entering the body through the skin, urushiol is oxidized to produce quinone, a reactive molecule. The quinone then binds to skin protein to form hapten adducts that trigger immune responses.

How do antigens trigger an immune response?

The specificity of the immune response depends on the epitope-paratope interaction. An epitope can be of two types: conformational (discontinuous amino acid sequence of the antigen) and linear epitopes (continuous amino acid sequence of the antigen).

Upon entering the body, an antigen activates the adaptive immune system that comprises specialized immune cells, such as B and T lymphocytes (B cells and T cells). There are two types of adaptive immune responses: antibody-mediated and cell-mediated immune responses. Antibody-mediated immunity is activated when antibodies expressed on the surface of B cells recognize specific epitopes of an antigen and subsequently internalize the antigen.

The antigen is then presented on the surface of the B cell to be recognized by helper T cells, which subsequently activate the B cell. Activated B cells divide rapidly to produce two types of cells: 1) plasma cells that produce antibodies antigen-specific and 2) memory B cells that store antigen-specific information for future protection.

In the cell-mediated immune system, antigen-presenting cells such as dendritic cells, macrophages, and B cells internalize and digest antigen and subsequently present the antigenic fragments on their cell surface through the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). There are two types of MHC molecules: MHC class I molecules (present antigens to cytotoxic T cells) and MHC class II molecules (present antigens to helper T cells). MHC-associated antigenic fragments are presented to T cells by two different pathways.

In the endogenous pathway, MHC class I molecules present endogenous antigens that are derived from pathogen-specific proteins produced within infected cells. However, in the exogenous pathway, MHC class II molecules present antigenic fragments that are derived from extracellular pathogens.

Upon recognizing the MHC-antigen complex, T cells begin to secrete cytokines, which in turn facilitate T cell maturation. T cells that mature into helper T cells produce more cytokines to further attract and activate T cells. macrophages, lymphocytes and neutrophils. T cells that mature into cytotoxic T cells attack and destroy cells infected by pathogens.

Antigens in medical science

Pathogen-specific antigens can be used as diagnostic markers to detect the current infection status of an individual. Rapid antigen tests are immunoassays used to detect the presence of pathogen-specific proteins in biological samples.

Furthermore, pathogen-specific antigens are used in the production of vaccines. During vaccine production, pathogen-specific antigens are processed so that they can induce desired immune responses without causing disease. In tumour vaccines, tumour-specific antigens are used to activate immune cells that specifically attack and kill cancer cells.





The objective of this study was to investigate the differences between the results of two serology tests for the detection of COVID-19 among medical personnel, who have a higher risk of infection.


Immunochromatography (ICG) rapid test kit and quantitative chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) antibody test were performed. The differences in the prevalence of IgM and IgG antibodies in different serological tests were analyzed descriptively.

What is an immunoglobulin test?

An immunoglobulin (im-yeh-no-GLOB-yeh-len) test measures the level of types of antibodies in the blood. The immune system produces antibodies to protect the body from bacteria, viruses, and allergens. The body makes different antibodies, or immunoglobulins, to fight different things. For example, the chickenpox antibody is not the same as the mononucleosis antibody. Sometimes the body can even mistakenly produce antibodies against itself, treating healthy organs and tissues as foreign invaders. This is called an autoimmune disease.

The types of antibodies are:

  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA): Found in the linings of the respiratory tract and digestive system, as well as in saliva (spit), tears, and breast milk.
  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG): This is the most common antibody. It is in the blood and other body fluids, and it protects against bacterial and viral infections. IgG may take time to form after infection or immunization.
  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM): Found primarily in the blood and lymphatic fluid; it is the first antibody the body produces when fighting a new infection.
  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE): Normally found in small amounts in the blood. There may be higher amounts when the body overreacts to allergens or is fighting an infection from a parasite.
  • Immunoglobulin D (IgD): This is the least known antibody, with only small amounts in the blood.

Why are immunoglobulin tests done?

Doctors can check immunoglobulin levels to see if a person has an infection or is protected from infection (immune to it). Doctors also use immunoglobulin tests to help diagnose immunodeficiencies (when the immune system isn’t working the way it should). Doctors may suspect an immunodeficiency in a child who gets many infections or unusual infections. Testing may be done as part of an evaluation for allergies or autoimmune conditions, such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease.

How should we prepare for an immunoglobulin test?

Children can eat and drink normally unless other tests that require fasting are also done. Tell your doctor about any medications your child takes, as some medications can affect the test results. Wearing a t-shirt or short-sleeved shirt to the test can make things easier for your child, and you can also bring a toy or book as a distraction.


A total of 637 participants were included in this investigation. Two employees tested positive for IgM on the CLIA quantitative antibody test (cutoff value: 10 AU/mL) out of 51 employees who tested positive for IgM on the rapid test kit. Six staff members tested positive for IgG on the CLIA quantitative antibody test out of 56 staff members who tested positive for IgG on the rapid test kit. The proportion of staff with positive antibodies differed greatly between the rapid test kit and the quantitative CLIA antibody test.


There was a large difference in the proportions of staff with positive IgG and IgM antibodies in the rapid test kit and in the CLIA quantitative antibody test results. Results from the single rapid test kit may need to be interpreted with caution. Further studies are required to assess the accuracy of antibody tests to further understand the characteristics of each assay and determine its purposes in each community.


Prevalence of antibodies; COVID-19; Serological assay.