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Salivary gland

The salivary glands produce saliva, which keeps the mouth and other parts of the digestive system moist.

It also helps break down carbohydrates (with salivary amylase, formerly known as ptyalin) and lubricates the passage of food down from the oro-pharynx to the esophagus to the stomach.

There are three main pairs of salivary glands: the parotid, the submandibular and the sublingual glands.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Salivary gland", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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May 23, 2015

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updated 12:56 pm ET