Saliva: The clear, viscous fluid secreted by the SALIVARY GLANDS and mucous glands of the mouth. It contains MUCINS, water, organic salts, and ptylin.Hydrocortisone: The main glucocorticoid secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX. Its synthetic counterpart is used, either as an injection or topically, in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, collagen diseases, asthma, adrenocortical deficiency, shock, and some neoplastic conditions.Salivary Proteins and Peptides: Proteins and peptides found in SALIVA and the SALIVARY GLANDS. Some salivary proteins such as ALPHA-AMYLASES are enzymes, but their composition varies in different individuals.Salivary alpha-Amylases: A subclass of alpha-amylase ISOENZYMES that are secreted into SALIVA.Mouth: The oval-shaped oral cavity located at the apex of the digestive tract and consisting of two parts: the vestibule and the oral cavity proper.Saliva, Artificial: A solution used for irrigating the mouth in xerostomia and as a substitute for saliva.Immunoglobulin A, Secretory: The principle immunoglobulin in exocrine secretions such as milk, respiratory and intestinal mucin, saliva and tears. The complete molecule (around 400 kD) is composed of two four-chain units of IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, one SECRETORY COMPONENT and one J chain (IMMUNOGLOBULIN J-CHAINS).Streptococcus mutans: A polysaccharide-producing species of STREPTOCOCCUS isolated from human dental plaque.Pituitary-Adrenal System: The interactions between the anterior pituitary and adrenal glands, in which corticotropin (ACTH) stimulates the adrenal cortex and adrenal cortical hormones suppress the production of corticotropin by the anterior pituitary.Circadian Rhythm: The regular recurrence, in cycles of about 24 hours, of biological processes or activities, such as sensitivity to drugs and stimuli, hormone secretion, sleeping, and feeding.Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System: A collection of NEURONS, tracts of NERVE FIBERS, endocrine tissue, and blood vessels in the HYPOTHALAMUS and the PITUITARY GLAND. This hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal circulation provides the mechanism for hypothalamic neuroendocrine (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) regulation of pituitary function and the release of various PITUITARY HORMONES into the systemic circulation to maintain HOMEOSTASIS.Dental Plaque: A film that attaches to teeth, often causing DENTAL CARIES and GINGIVITIS. It is composed of MUCINS, secreted from salivary glands, and microorganisms.Parotid Gland: The largest of the three pairs of SALIVARY GLANDS. They lie on the sides of the FACE immediately below and in front of the EAR.Stress, Psychological: Stress wherein emotional factors predominate.Cotinine: The N-glucuronide conjugate of cotinine is a major urinary metabolite of NICOTINE. It thus serves as a biomarker of exposure to tobacco SMOKING. It has CNS stimulating properties.Specimen Handling: Procedures for collecting, preserving, and transporting of specimens sufficiently stable to provide accurate and precise results suitable for clinical interpretation.Dental Caries: Localized destruction of the tooth surface initiated by decalcification of the enamel followed by enzymatic lysis of organic structures and leading to cavity formation. If left unchecked, the cavity may penetrate the enamel and dentin and reach the pulp.Immunoglobulin A: Represents 15-20% of the human serum immunoglobulins, mostly as the 4-chain polymer in humans or dimer in other mammals. Secretory IgA (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, SECRETORY) is the main immunoglobulin in secretions.Mouthwashes: Solutions for rinsing the mouth, possessing cleansing, germicidal, or palliative properties. (From Boucher's Clinical Dental Terminology, 4th ed)Salivation: The discharge of saliva from the SALIVARY GLANDS that keeps the mouth tissues moist and aids in digestion.Mouth Mucosa: Lining of the ORAL CAVITY, including mucosa on the GUMS; the PALATE; the LIP; the CHEEK; floor of the mouth; and other structures. The mucosa is generally a nonkeratinized stratified squamous EPITHELIUM covering muscle, bone, or glands but can show varying degree of keratinization at specific locations.alpha-Amylases: Enzymes that catalyze the endohydrolysis of 1,4-alpha-glycosidic linkages in STARCH; GLYCOGEN; and related POLYSACCHARIDES and OLIGOSACCHARIDES containing 3 or more 1,4-alpha-linked D-glucose units.Secretory Rate: The amount of a substance secreted by cells or by a specific organ or organism over a given period of time; usually applies to those substances which are formed by glandular tissues and are released by them into biological fluids, e.g., secretory rate of corticosteroids by the adrenal cortex, secretory rate of gastric acid by the gastric mucosa.Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Genotyping Techniques: Methods used to determine individuals' specific ALLELES or SNPS (single nucleotide polymorphisms).Menstrual Cycle: The period from onset of one menstrual bleeding (MENSTRUATION) to the next in an ovulating woman or female primate. The menstrual cycle is regulated by endocrine interactions of the HYPOTHALAMUS; the PITUITARY GLAND; the ovaries; and the genital tract. The menstrual cycle is divided by OVULATION into two phases. Based on the endocrine status of the OVARY, there is a FOLLICULAR PHASE and a LUTEAL PHASE. Based on the response in the ENDOMETRIUM, the menstrual cycle is divided into a proliferative and a secretory phase.Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.Salivary Glands: Glands that secrete SALIVA in the MOUTH. There are three pairs of salivary glands (PAROTID GLAND; SUBLINGUAL GLAND; SUBMANDIBULAR GLAND).Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: An immunoassay utilizing an antibody labeled with an enzyme marker such as horseradish peroxidase. While either the enzyme or the antibody is bound to an immunosorbent substrate, they both retain their biologic activity; the change in enzyme activity as a result of the enzyme-antibody-antigen reaction is proportional to the concentration of the antigen and can be measured spectrophotometrically or with the naked eye. Many variations of the method have been developed.Radioimmunoassay: Classic quantitative assay for detection of antigen-antibody reactions using a radioactively labeled substance (radioligand) either directly or indirectly to measure the binding of the unlabeled substance to a specific antibody or other receptor system. Non-immunogenic substances (e.g., haptens) can be measured if coupled to larger carrier proteins (e.g., bovine gamma-globulin or human serum albumin) capable of inducing antibody formation.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.DMF Index: "Decayed, missing and filled teeth," a routinely used statistical concept in dentistry.Streptococcus: A genus of gram-positive, coccoid bacteria whose organisms occur in pairs or chains. No endospores are produced. Many species exist as commensals or parasites on man or animals with some being highly pathogenic. A few species are saprophytes and occur in the natural environment.Submandibular Gland: One of two salivary glands in the neck, located in the space bound by the two bellies of the digastric muscle and the angle of the mandible. It discharges through the submandibular duct. The secretory units are predominantly serous although a few mucous alveoli, some with serous demilunes, occur. (Stedman, 25th ed)Melatonin: A biogenic amine that is found in animals and plants. In mammals, melatonin is produced by the PINEAL GLAND. Its secretion increases in darkness and decreases during exposure to light. Melatonin is implicated in the regulation of SLEEP, mood, and REPRODUCTION. Melatonin is also an effective antioxidant.Mouth Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the MOUTH.Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Pilot Projects: Small-scale tests of methods and procedures to be used on a larger scale if the pilot study demonstrates that these methods and procedures can work.Colony Count, Microbial: Enumeration by direct count of viable, isolated bacterial, archaeal, or fungal CELLS or SPORES capable of growth on solid CULTURE MEDIA. The method is used routinely by environmental microbiologists for quantifying organisms in AIR; FOOD; and WATER; by clinicians for measuring patients' microbial load; and in antimicrobial drug testing.Genotype: The genetic constitution of the individual, comprising the ALLELES present at each GENETIC LOCUS.Cortisone: A naturally occurring glucocorticoid. It has been used in replacement therapy for adrenal insufficiency and as an anti-inflammatory agent. Cortisone itself is inactive. It is converted in the liver to the active metabolite HYDROCORTISONE. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p726)Statistics, Nonparametric: A class of statistical methods applicable to a large set of probability distributions used to test for correlation, location, independence, etc. In most nonparametric statistical tests, the original scores or observations are replaced by another variable containing less information. An important class of nonparametric tests employs the ordinal properties of the data. Another class of tests uses information about whether an observation is above or below some fixed value such as the median, and a third class is based on the frequency of the occurrence of runs in the data. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1284; Corsini, Concise Encyclopedia of Psychology, 1987, p764-5)Sublingual Gland: A salivary gland on each side of the mouth below the TONGUE.Reproducibility of Results: The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.Wakefulness: A state in which there is an enhanced potential for sensitivity and an efficient responsiveness to external stimuli.Xerostomia: Decreased salivary flow.Transcortin: A serpin family member that binds to and transports GLUCOCORTICOIDS in the BLOOD.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Cushing Syndrome: A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) or other GLUCOCORTICOIDS from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body OBESITY; OSTEOPOROSIS; HYPERTENSION; DIABETES MELLITUS; HIRSUTISM; AMENORRHEA; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN and those that are ACTH-independent.Adrenal Insufficiency: Conditions in which the production of adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS falls below the requirement of the body. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by defects in the ADRENAL GLANDS, the PITUITARY GLAND, or the HYPOTHALAMUS.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Cosyntropin: A synthetic peptide that is identical to the 24-amino acid segment at the N-terminal of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE. ACTH (1-24), a segment similar in all species, contains the biological activity that stimulates production of CORTICOSTEROIDS in the ADRENAL CORTEX.