The salivary glands secrete saliva into the oral cavity (mouth). The major salivary glands are the parotid gland, submandibular gland and sublingual gland. Minor salivary glands are distributed around the oral cavity.

The most common abnormalities of salivary glands are obstruction (usually by a stone), infection and tumours (tumors).

Salivary glands are under the control of the autonomic nervous system. Disorders of the autonomic nervous system cause under- or over-production of saliva. Under production of saliva causes dry mouth and is probably worse than overproduction.

I once met a guy who could shoot streams of saliva from his salivary glands. This was not spitting, nosiree, he would do this with his mouth completely open, set himself up, and two gentle arcs of saliva would come spurting out of his mouth like tiny fountains.

He said he had taught himself to do this with years of practice. I think we've all accidentally had saliva shoot out of our mouths, so it seems possible that you could train your body to do it on command, but that doesn't make it any less freakish.

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