‘Gleeking’ Is A Gross Human Function That People Don’t Realise They Can Do

'Gleeking' is a gross human function that people don't realise they can do.
Credit: @skysaferian/TikTok

Have you ever heard of ‘gleeking’? Well, it’s a gross human function that people don’t realise they can do.

If you’ve never come across the term ‘gleeking’ before, you may be surprised to discover that you’ve probably done it unintentionally at some point.

It really is pretty gross, and it can be embarrassing if someone notices you doing it.

Let’s just say it’s something you’d rather happen accidentally in the comfort of your own home than on a romantic date in a swanky restaurant.

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‘Gleeking’ refers to the act of shooting saliva out from under your tongue, often occurring when you yawn.

And while you might think it’s disgusting, it’s a natural phenomenon that many people experience.

In a video clip demonstrating gleeking, the narrator of a TikTok video claims that only one per cent of the population can do it on demand.

However, a doctor suggests that with practice, almost everyone can train themselves to do it.

To understand what causes gleeking, let’s delve into some scientific explanations.

Inside your mouth, there are three pairs of major saliva glands, along with numerous minor ones.

Among the major glands are the submandibular glands and the sublingual glands, located underneath your tongue.

‘Gleeking’ is a gross human function that most people don’t realise they can do. Credit: @skysaferian/TikTok

When you eat, these glands produce saliva, which usually drains away through ducts beneath your tongue.

However, in some instances, the saliva can accumulate, and when pressure from the tongue is applied to the glands, it squirts out.

While gleeking typically occurs accidentally, if you’re interested in attempting it on command, there are a few techniques that may increase your chances.

Mark S Wolff, DDS, PhD, dean of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests to that consuming something sour can stimulate your salivary glands.

Afterwards, you can extend your tongue out of your mouth, lift it upward, and curl the tip of your tongue behind your top teeth.

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By tensing the muscles in your tongue correctly, you can squeeze the duct, causing saliva to squirt out.

Dr Wolff asserts that almost everyone can achieve this with practice, though it may take some time to master the skill.

So, if you were searching for weekend plans, perhaps practising gleeking could be an intriguing activity to try out.

@therealtiktokdoc @Sky! The master Gleeker 👅 #gleeking #brownsanatomy ♬ original sound – TheRealTikTokDoc

In the comments on the video, many people were glad to finally have an answer as to why gleeking happens.

One writes: “Are you serious I’m part of the 1%! I’ve done this my whole life and always called it snake spitting!”

A second adds: “Ya I’ve been doing it on command this whole time and now I find out only 1 per cent of the population can do it I feel special.”

Not everyone is able to gleek on command though, with one user commenting: “I tried [for] about two hours in front of the mirror, I CAN’T DO IT.”

Another says: “Not me spraining my tongue trying to do this.”

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.