The submandibular glands: a role in homeostasis and allostasis

Ronald Mathison
1995 Biomedical Reviews  
The salivary glands are important exocrine and endocrine organs, whose role in oral health is well recognized. Only within the last 15 years has it become apparent that these glands also contribute to maintenance of systemic health. Salivary gland polypeptides promote health and well-being by aiding in wound healing, rnucosal protection, tissue and organ regeneration, and immunomodulation. It is proposed that salivary gland factors form an integral part of the body's homeostatic processes. In
more » ... tic processes. In the their absence, a condition promoted by many diseases or by artificially removing the glands (sialadenectomy), oral and systemic health is jeopardized. When the salivary glands do not secrete their hormones properly the organism is no longer able to normally regulate several functions since important homeostatic mechanisms become dysfunctional. This breakdown in homeostatic mechanisms results in the establishment of an alternative state, that of allostasis, which is generally associated with illness or susceptibility to illness. It is proposed that the dysfunctional salivary glands facilitate the development of the pathologies associated with various disorders, such as diabetes mellitus and enhanced sensitivity to endotoxin.
doi:10.14748/bmr.v4.192 fatcat:5cvbz4kjpfe57pqyuhr7gmow4i