The volume of saliva in the mouth before and after swallowing

J Dent Res. 1984 May;63(5):618-21. doi: 10.1177/00220345840630050201.


In 20 male and 20 female adult subjects, the volume of saliva in the mouth before (VMAX) and after (RESID) swallowing was determined. RESID could be computed by measuring the potassium and chloride concentrations in unstimulated saliva and in the expectorate after a five-second rinse with 5 ml of water immediately following a swallow. The mean value of RESID after a normal swallow was significantly higher in males (0.87 ml) than in females (0.66 ml). After a forced swallow, RESID was only slightly but significantly reduced, being 0.82 ml and 0.60 ml in males and females, respectively. The volume of saliva normally swallowed was calculated from the unstimulated salivary flow rate and the normal swallowing frequency. The mean value of VMAX (RESID plus volume normally swallowed) in males was 1.19 ml, which was slightly but not significantly higher than that in females (0.96 ml). When water was infused into the mouth at increasing flow rates, there was an increase in VMAX and in both the volume of fluid swallowed and the swallowing frequency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chlorides / analysis
  • Deglutition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / anatomy & histology
  • Potassium / analysis
  • Saliva* / analysis
  • Saliva* / metabolism
  • Secretory Rate
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Chlorides
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Potassium