Salivary Enzymes in Health and Disease

Document Type : Narrative Review


Department of Oral Pathology K.S.R Institute of Dental Sciences & amp, Research, Tiruchengode, India


Saliva is a complex fluid produced by the salivary glands. It is the secretion of the salivary glands and constitutes one of the largest secretions of the human body. It maintains the integrity of both the soft and hard tissues of the mouth and it constitutes one of the main natural defence systems of the oral cavity. Saliva consists of varied organic and inorganic components and its secretion is influenced by sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation. Saliva also contains hormones, antibodies, growth factors, enzymes, microbes and their products. Many of these constituents enter saliva through blood via passive diffusion, active transport or extracellular ultrafiltration. Therefore, saliva can be seen in many cases as a reflection of the physiological function of the body. It is actually a clinically informative, biological fluid (biofluid) that is useful for novel approaches to prognosis, laboratory or clinical diagnosis, and monitoring and management of patients with both oral and systemic diseases. This review article aims to elaborate and discuss about the enzymes in saliva. There are about 25 to 30 enzymes found in saliva after reviewing the literature to best of our knowledge. Newer advancements and technologies have enabled saliva to be used as a diagnostic biomarker. We also enumerated a list of enzymes present in saliva and its function as a short review for the first time in the literature here, thereby contributing our work to researchers to gain knowledge and encourage them to carry out further studies in the field of salivary enzymes