The Salivary Glands

There are three large paired salivary glands and several small salivary glands that open into the oral cavity
  • Parotid gland
  • Submandibular gland
  • Sublingual gland
Anatomy of salivary glands
Parotid Gland
  • Largest of all salivary glands
  • Location : Overlies the ramus of the mandible ; Anterior and inferior to the external auditory canal ; Filling the gap between the external auditory canal and the mandible
  • Extension : From zygomatic arch to the angle of the mandible
  • Covered by parotid fascia / capsule
  • Gland resembles a 3 sided pyramid with apex pointed downwards.
  • 20% of daily saliva is produced by parotid gland
  • Gland has serous acini
  • Duct : Opening is situated adjacent to the 2nd upper molar tooth (Stensen’s duct)
  • Structures within parotid gland (From lateral to medial)
    • Facial nerve
    • Retromandibular veins
    • External carotid artery
  • Relations of parotid gland
    • Anteriorly
      • Masseter
      • Medial pterygoid
      • Superficial temporal artery
      • Maxillary artery
      • Facial nerve
      • Stylomandibular ligament
    • Posteriorly
      • Posterior belly of digastric
      •  Sternocleidomastoid
      • Stylohyoid
      • Internal carotid artery
      • Mastoid process
      • Styloid process
Parotid Gland
Parotid Gland
  • Blood supply
    • Arterial supply – Branches of external carotid artery (Maxillary and superficial temporal arteries)
    • Venous drainage – Retromandibular vein
  • Nerve supply
    • Parasympathetic – Secretomotor (Lesser petrosal nerve branch of glossopharyngeal nerve)
      • Produces watery amylase rich fluid
    • Sympathetic – Superior cervical ganglion
      • Thick glycoprotein rich saliva
    • Sensory – Greater auricular nerve
  • Lymphatic drainage : Deep cervical nodes
Submandibular Gland
  • Location : Lie beneath the floor of the mouth between mandible and hyoid bone
  • Separated into superficial and deep lobes by mylohyoid muscle
  • 70% of daily saliva is produced by submandibular gland
  • Gland has both serous (predominant) and mucinous acini
  • Duct – Wharton’s duct
    • Opens lateral to the lingual frenulum on the anterior floor of the mouth
    • 5 cm in length
    • Lingual nerve wraps around Wharton’s duct
Submandibular Gland
  • Relations of submandibular gland
    • Superficial lobe – Lies in the digastric triangle
      • Platysma
      • Submandibular lymph nodes
      • Facial vein
      • Marginal mandibular nerve
      • Cervical branch of facial nerve
    • Deep lobe
      • Facial artery
      • Mylohyoid muscle
      • Submandibular duct
      • Hypoglossus muscle
      • Lingual nerve
      • Submandibular ganglion
      • Hypoglossal nerve
Submandibular Gland Submandibular Gland Submandibular Gland
  • Surgically important surrounding structures
    • Facial artery
    • Facial vein
    • Marginal mandibular nerve (Runs deep to platysma)
    • Lingual nerve
    • Hypoglossal nerve
  • Blood supply
    • Arterial supply – Branch of facial artery
    • Venous drainage – Anterior facial vein
  • Nerve supply
    • Sympathetic – Superior cevical ganglion
    • Parasympathetic – Submandibular ganglion via facial nerve
  • Lymphatic drainage – Deep cervical and jugular lymph nodes
Sublingual Gland
  • Smallest gland
  • Location : Lies in the floor of the mouth on either side of the midline
  • Gland has both serous and mucinous acini (predominant)
  • Duct : Opens to the floor of the mouth
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