I really hope this isn’t a phenomenon specific to my family otherwise I could risk sounding like a bit of a freak. But what the hell.

I've only ever really discussed this with my brother and he claims to have experienced it too. (I use the word discussed lightly as it was hardly much of a high brow knowledge exchange). But this does happen to me. Not very often granted, but it does happen.

It always takes you by surprise. Your mouth is usually slightly open, and you do something unconsciously with your tongue (I'm not sure exactly what though) and a pretty noticeable amount of saliva spurts from underneath it and out into the world. Unlike most spitting attempts however this spray kinda shotguns out, spraying anything in front of your self in a wide arc. If you are reading it will pretty much cover your page in lots of random daubs of spittle .

The frustrating part for me is that you can never repeat the feat when you try to. It only happens accidentally. God knows my brother and I have tried many times to spray each other in this manner deliberately, facing each other with our mouths open and tongues rolled back, under tongue muscles pumping frantically, mom cheering us on, but to no avail. (Okay so I probably am a freak.)

The spray described here is from the sublingual glands just beneath the tongue.

To get this situation slightly more predicatably, it has been known that a drop of vinegar or other minor irritant dabbed just over the gland can occasionally cause a spray of saliva to come out.

I don't know about how successful training to do it on command would be but I guess it could be done but I don't think it would be a great party trick.

Friends of mine in highschool could do it on command. They called it "skeeting," and it wasn't a party trick. It was used to torment classmates during tests or other quiet-time activities.

These salival salvoes could be fired with some great accuracy, usually at the back of one's neck.

No, sausagehead, you are not a freak. I see this phenomenon everyday. The best performance was this guy who squirted saliva from the floor of the mouth (the anatomical name) onto his forehead whilst lying in my dental chair. It was truly amazing! I was glad I gave him safety glass, else he would've thought I was a lousy dentist spraying stuff everywhere...

They always remind me of cunjevois, native Australian sea squirts that are found along our southern Australian coast line. They just squirt out water just like the salivary glands under your tongue. I reckon they spray up to 1 m high!

But I digress.

I have found that I personally get a squirt or two when I yawn. I can only surmise that the muscular contraction of the floor of the mouth changes the interstitial pressures and squeezes the gland(s) and hence the squirt of saliva. But then, my patients seem to squirt them indiscriminately.

Of course, alex.tan is correct in saying that you can stimulate salivary flow by placing a drop of lemon juice or vinegar - but not over the gland - on the tip of the tongue. This is actually a good test to see if there is any obstruction of the duct. See sialolithiasis.

And it is probably not only the sublingual gland that is relevant in this case. In fact, submandibular gland duct opens very near the sublingual gland, despite the gland being further back in the mouth. Being the larger gland, I reckon it has a bigger role to play. And notwithstanding the fact that the main duct of the sublingual gland sometimes even opens into the submandibular gland duct aka Wharton's duct, if not just beside it.

Just to clarify, the sublingual gland tends to have a main larger duct (Bartholin's duct) and a few smaller ones. All the above mention ducts open more-or-less into the floor of the mouth i.e. under the tongue.

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