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PERSONAL HEALTH : Brain Can Start Mouth Watering

January 25, 1994|ASSOCIATED PRESS

Think about pizza. Thick, cheesy pizza. Think about the smell of pizza. Is your mouth watering yet?

When your mouth waters, you're creating saliva. Saliva helps you eat. Saliva is produced by saliva glands. These glands pump out saliva when food is in your mouth.

But sometimes just seeing, smelling or thinking about a favorite food can put those glands into high gear.

Saliva glands get their orders from your brain, which signals your mouth to get ready for a meal.

Saliva softens food, making it easier to chew and swallow. It also contains a chemical that helps break down food, so it can be more easily absorbed by the body.

In between meals, saliva kills mouth germs that cause tooth decay. Your body makes about a quart and a half of saliva a day.

Whew!

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