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Mar 8 2011, 10:18 PM EST (current) AndyC 166 words added
Mar 8 2011, 10:17 PM EST AndyC 8 words added

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Parotid Gland


  • Is the largest of the three salivary glands and occupies the retromandibular space between the ramus of the mandible in front and the mastoid process and the sternocleidomastoid muscle behind.
  • Is invested with a dense fibrous capsule, the parotid sheath, derived from the investing layer of the deep cervical fascia.
  • Is separated from the submandibular gland by a facial extension and the stylomandibular ligament, which extends from the styloid process to the angle of the mandible. (Therefore, pus does not readily exchange between these two glands.)
  • Has the parotid (Stensen's) duct, which crosses the masseter, pierces the buccinator muscle, and opens into the oral cavity opposite the second upper molar tooth.
  • Is innervated by parasympathetic (secretomotor) fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve by way of the lesser petrosal nerve, otic ganglion , and auriculotemporal nerve.
  • Secretes a copious watery saliva by parasympathetic stimulation and produces a small amount of viscous saliva by sympathetic stimulation.
  • Complete surgical removal of the parotid may damage the facial nerve.


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