Salivary Glands and types of Salivary Glands


In humans, salivary glands produce saliva which helps in chewing and swallowing of food. Every day 0.5 to 1.5 litres of saliva are produced by the salivary glands in human. Salivary glands are exocrine glands. These are located in the mouth. Humans have three pairs of major salivary glands and some minor salivary glands. 

Types of salivary glands:

    1. Major or large salivary glands
    2. Minor or small salivary glands

Major salivary glands:                                                                                                                                                                                                    

    1. Parotid glands
    2. Submaxillary or submandibular glands
    3. Sublingual glands

Positions of salivary glands in mouth, Parotid glands, Submaxillary glands, sublingual glands

1. Parotid Glands

  • Parotid gland is the largest of all salivary glands, situated at the side of the face just below and in front of the ear.
  • Each gland weighs about 20 to 30 g in adults.
  • Secretions from these glands are emptied into the oral cavity by Stensen duct. This duct is about 35 mm to 40 mm long and opens inside the cheek against the upper second molar tooth.

2. Submaxillary Glands

  • Submaxillary glands or Submandibular glands are located medial to mandible in submandibular triangle. 
  • Each gland weighs about 8 to 10 g.
  • Saliva from these glands is emptied into the oral cavity by Wharton duct, which is about 40 mm long.
  • The duct opens at the side of frenulum of tongue, by means of a small opening on the summit of papilla called caruncula sublingualis.

 3. Sublingual Glands

  • Sublingual glands are the smallest salivary glands, situated in the mucosa at the floor of the mouth.
  • Each gland weighs about 2 to 3 gram.
  • Saliva from these glands is poured into 5 to 15 small ducts called ducts of Ricinus.
  • These ducts open on small papillae beneath the tongue.
  • One of the ducts is large and it is called Bartholin duct. It drains the anterior part of the gland and opens on caruncular sublingualis near the opening of submaxillary duct.

Minor salivary glands

  1. Lingual Mucus Glands.
  2. Lingual Serous Glands
  3. Buccal Glands
  4. Labial Glands  

1. Lingual Mucus Glands

 Lingual mucus glands are situated in posterior one third of the tongue, behind circumvallate papillae and at the tip and margins of tongue.

 2. Lingual Serous Glands

Lingual serous glands are located near circumvallate papillae and filiform papillae.

 3Buccal Glands                                                                                         

  Buccal glands or molar glands are present between the mucus membrane and buccinator muscle. Four to five of these are larger and situated outside buccinator, around the terminal part of parotid duct. 

4. Labial Glands 

Labial glands are situated beneath the mucus membrane around the orifice of mouth.

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