An Extra Set of Salivary Glands…

The human body is so complicated. After years of cutting and dicing cadavers, we are still finding hidden unknown organs. Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered a fourth set of salivary glands hidden inside the nasal cavity. Until recently it was believed that there were only three major sets. Why is this important? Salivary glands are responsible for supplying spit. In turn, the mouth becomes lubricated allowing us to both speak and swallow. They help us fight off germs from entering the mouth and have great healing powers for infections in the mouth. Most important they help with tasting our food which is a major contributor to quality of life. The tissues that comprise these glands are extremely delicate, and doctors are extremely careful not to destroy them when using radiation. These two hidden glands may be a major funneling system for transporting fluid from the head to the base of the tongue. The new finding may help to answer the question why people who undergo radiation of the head and neck so often end up with so many of the effects of injured salivary glands. Since they were so well hidden, doctors, unaware of their existence, never took precautions to spare them. It is not clear at present if these glands exist in the whole population or in certain groups of people. The research needs to widen its study to include a more diverse population. It just goes to show what an incredible piece of anatomy our bodies are.

 

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/physicians-may-have-discovered-4th-pair-of-salivary-glands-in-head.html