• It is protective mechanically against both compressive and shearing forces associated with mastication.
• It provides a barrier to microorganisms, toxins and various antigens.
• It has a role in immunological defence, both humoral and cell-mediated.
• Salivary glands within the oral mucosa secrete saliva which has many functions, including lubrication and buffering activity, as well as providing some antibodies.
• The viscoelastic mucous film also acts as a barrier, helping to retain water and electrolytes.
• The oral mucosa is richly innervated, providing
sensory inputs associated with the modalities of touch, proprioception, pain and taste.
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