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Food is mixed with saliva excreted by salivary glands. Saliva contains enzymes called salivary amylase which is helpful in the digestion of starch. Saliva also helps the food to get smooth, so that food will be smoothly released into oesophagus or food pipe easily.

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The digestive functions of saliva include moistening food, and helping to create a food bolus, so it can be swallowed easily. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase that breaks some starches down into maltose and dextrin. Thus, digestion of food occurs within the mouth, even before food reaches the stomach.
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