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Presentation on theme: "BIOLOGY OF THE HUMAN DENTITION"— Presentation transcript:


2 Histology of the Salivary Glands
The secretory unit (salivary unit) consists of the acinus, myoepithelial cells, the intercalated duct, the striated duct, and the excretory duct.

3 Microanatomy of the Salivary Glands 

4 SALIVA SECRETION Saliva is made from blood plasma and thus contains many of the chemicals that are found in plasma. The production of saliva is a continuous active process occurring in 2 phases: 1) secretion of primary saliva– occurs in the acinar cells and intercalated ducts. This results in an isotonic product similar in composition and osmolality to plasma.

5 SALIVA SECRETION The Myoepithelial cells absorb Na+ from the lumen, secrete K+ into the lumen, and produce an increasingly hypotonic fluid. The faster the salivary flow rate, the less time allowed for these cells to act, resulting in a less hypotonic product.

6 SALIVA SECRETION 2) Ductal modification – results in a hypotonic salivary fluid. It also results in decreased sodium and chloride ions and increased potassium ions in the end product. Also water reabsorption can occur to modify the osmolality of saliva.

7 SALIVA SECRETION Of note the intercalated duct is short and poorly developed in mucous glands, while the striated duct is nonexistent in mucous glands. However, both of these ducts are well developed in serous glands, where the secretion is heavily modified. Mucous glands, in contrast, do not significantly modify the primary secretion. Excretory ducts are lined with cells, that do NOT perform any modification of the saliva. 

8 SALIVA SECRETION The secretion and modification of saliva is regulated by the autonomic nervous system. Sympathetic neurotransmitter are the stimulus of exocytosis, through that macromolecular components are secreted from the secretory cells toward the lumen of the secretory end pieces. The secretion of water and the active transport of electrolytes is regulated through parasympathetic neurotransmitter.

The final electrolyte composition of saliva varies depending on the flow rate of saliva. The best way to evaluate function of the salivary glands is to measure the salivary flow rate in stimulated and unstimulated states. The average volume of saliva secreted in a 24 hour period is liters (approximately 1 cc/minute), most of which is secreted during meals.

10 SALIVA SECRETION The basal salivary flow rate= cc/minute/gland. With stimulation, salivary flow rate= cc/min/gland. Salivary flow rate from the minor salivary glands is independent of stimulation, constituting 7-8% of total salivary output.

11 SALIVA SECRETION The presence of food in the mouth, the sight or smell of it increases saliva secretion. There is a hierarchy of sensory stimuli such that swallow>mastication>taste>smell>sight>thought. In addition, the magnitude of salivary response is directly related to a subject’s state of hunger.

12 SALIVA SECRETION This is a parasympathetic response mediated by the facial and glossopharyngeal nerves. Sympathetic stimulation in stress situations decreases secretion.

13 SALIVA SECRETION In the UNSTIMULATED state the relative contribution of the major salivary glands is as follows: 1) Submandibular gland=69%  2) Parotid gland=26% 3) Sublingual gland=5% 

14 SALIVA SECRETION In the STIMULATED state the relative contribution of the major salivary glands is as follows: 1) Parotid gland=69% 2) Submandibular gland=26% 3) Sublingual gland=5% 

15 SALIVA SECRETION Though the Sublingual glands and minor salivary glands contribute only about 10% of all saliva, together they produce the majority of mucous and are critical in maintaining the mucin layer over the oral mucosa. In humans, the minor salivary glands account for approximately 70% of the mucous secreted.

16 Age changes As an age change a generalized loss of salivary gland parenchymal tissue occurs. The salivary cells are replaced with adipose cells. So decreased saliva production (hypofunction) can occur by older persons. This hypofunction can also be caused by different local or systemic diseases.

17 Salivary Hypofunction
The decreased volume of saliva in the mouth leads to drying of the oral tissues and loss of the of the protective effects of saliva. More oral infections and difficulty in speech, eating and swallowing occur by those patients.

18 Salivary Hypofunction
The intraoral complications of salivary hypofunction include: 1) Candidiasis  2) Oral Lichen Planus (usually painful)  3) Burning Mouth Syndrome (normal appearing oral mucosa with a subjective sensation of burning)  4) Recurrent aphthous ulcers  5) Dental caries.

19 Salivary Hypofunction
Xerostomia (Dry mouth) is NOT a reliable indicator of salivary hypofunction. It is thought to be caused by: Medications Destruction of salivary tissues: Chemo- and radiotherapy surgery

20 Salivary Hyperfunction
Ptyalism, or drooling, may be secondary to salivary hypersecretion. This is caused either by excessive salivary flow, or a salivary flow rate which surpasses the ability to swallow the saliva. Possible surgical treatments for Ptyalism are tympanic neurectomies (eliminating parasympathetic innervation to the Parotid gland) or Parotid duct rerouting. 

21 Salivary gland stones 80-90% of salivary gland stones occur in the Submandibular gland, and of those, 85% occur in Wharton’s duct. Complete ductal obstruction generally results in atrophy of the gland, while partial obstruction usually results in glandular mucocele.


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