Keeping Your Mouth Moist
Saliva is the substance that keeps the inside of your mouth moist. You have three pairs of major salivary glands and numerous minor glands in your cheeks and lips. Your saliva glands generally secrete a small but steady amount of saliva, which is a mixture of water, mucus and other substances.
But food – and sometimes just the thought of it – can trigger a heavy flow of saliva. That's where the notion comes from of your mouth “watering” when you see a delectable morsel. Among the functions of saliva is to moisten and bing together the food that you chew so that you can swallow it.
Saliva Helps Us Taste
Saliva also helps us taste. Taste buds do not react to dry food. Saliva helps fight tooth decay. Working with your tongue, it helps wash away food particles left in the mouth. It also contains calcium and phosphorous which strengthen teeth's enamel.
The three major salivary glands are the parotid, which is back near the base of your ear; the sublingual, which is under your tongue; and the submandibular, which is under your jawbone.