Salivary Glands Anatomy

If you have been diagnosed with salivary gland cancer, knowing a little bit about the salivary glands will help you talk to your doctor about surgery or other aspects of your worry .
The salivary glands make saliva and empty it into your mouth through openings called ducts. Saliva helps with swallow and chew. It can besides help prevent infections from developing in your mouth or throat .
There are two types of salivary glands :

  1. the major salivary glands

  2. the minor salivary glands

Major Salivary Glands

The major salivary glands are the largest and most crucial salivary glands. They produce most of the saliva in your sass .
There are three pairs of major salivary glands : the parotid glands, the submandibular glands, and the sublingual glands .

Parotid Glands

The parotid glands are the largest salivary glands. They are located equitable in front of the ears. The saliva produced in these glands is secreted into the mouth from a duct near your amphetamine second molar .
Each parotid gland has two parts, or lobes : the superficial lobe and the bass lobe. Between the two lobes is the facial nerve. The facial steel is important because it controls your ability to close your eyes, raise your eyebrows, and smile .
other critical structures near the parotid glands include the external carotid artery, which is a major supplier of blood to the head and neck region, and the retromandibular vein, a branch of the jugular vein .
surgery to treat a parotid gland tumor is called a parotidectomy. It requires big preciseness because the surgeon has to locate and operate around these important structures .
Learn more about parotidectomy .

Submandibular Glands

About the size of a walnut, the submandibular glands are located below the jaw. The saliva produced in these glands is secreted into the mouth from under the tongue.

Like the parotid glands, the submandibular glands have two parts called the superficial lobe and the deep lobe. nearby structures include :

  • the marginal mandibular nerve, which helps you smile
  • the platysma muscle, which helps you move your lower sass
  • the lingual nerve, which allows ace in your clapper
  • the hypoglossal nerve, which allows movement in the separate of your tongue that helps with speech and swallow

During treatment, we protect all of these important structures to avoid causing damage .
Learn more about submandibular gland cancer operating room .

Sublingual Glands

The sublingual glands are the smallest of the major salivary glands. These almond-shaped structures are located under the floor of the talk and below either side of the tongue. Tumors starting in these glands are particularly rare.

Learn more about operation for cancers that begin in the sublingual glands .

Minor Salivary Glands

There are hundreds of minor salivary glands throughout the mouth and the aerodigestive tract. Unlike the major salivary glands, these glands are besides belittled to be seen without a microscope. Most are found in the lining of the lips, the natural language, and the roof of the mouth, equally well as inside the cheek, nose, sinuses, and larynx ( articulation corner ) .
Minor salivary gland tumors are highly rare. however, they are more likely to be cancerous than benign. Cancers of the minor salivary glands most much begin in the ceiling of the talk .

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