There are three types of salivary flow rates: spontaneous, stimulated, and unstimulated, which is also referred to as the resting rate. All salivary glands contribute to the total volume of saliva. Each source plays a unique role in salivary production and composition. Minor salivary glands secrete a small volume of mucin-rich saliva continuously throughout the day and night. Unstimulated saliva is a mix of serous and mucous secretions coming primarily from the submandibular and minor salivary glands. The parotid gland produces the largest volume of stimulated saliva. Stimulated saliva accounts for 80-90% of daily salivary production. The primary stimulants are chewing, anticipatory tongue and lip movements, smell and taste.2,31
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