submaxillary gland, also known as the submandibular gland, is found under the back of the mouth, where the lower jaw meets
the neck. It works in conjunction with the parotid glands, found in front of the ear at the sides of the head, and the sublingual
glands, found just above the submandibular glands, to commence the first step of digestion.
salivary glands secrete saliva, a digestive fluid made mostly of water, mucus, salivary amylase, and small amounts of lysozyme
and antibodies which work to kill of bacteria.
secretion of saliva is triggered in the nervous system by the presence of food. Nerve endings found in the mouth called chemoreceptors
sense the presence of the chemicals in food, sending a message to the brain, which in turn stimulates the salivary glands.
However, sometimes the mere smell, sight, or thought of food can cause the salivary glands to be activated. When food is not
in the mouth, saliva is still secreted to keep the mouth from becoming dry.
most important function of saliva is commencing the primary stages of chemical digestion. Salivary amylase combines with water
to break down polysaccharides found in food into the smaller disaccharide maltose; this is known as hydrolysis. Saliva also
softens and lubricates the food to facilitate passage down the esophagus, and prevent damage to its tissues. Finally, saliva
dissolves the chemicals found in food, working with the taste buds to allow the food to be tasted