Salivary glands

Location of sublingual, submandibular, and parotid salivary glands under tongue, under jaw, and close to ear.

Salivary glands produce saliva, which moistens the mouth to help a person chew and swallow food. Saliva also contains substances (enzymes) that begin the breakdown of food.

There are four pairs of salivary glands, four glands on each side:

  • The parotid glands are between the ear and the jaw.
  • The submandibular glands are under the jaw.
  • The sublingual glands are on the floor of the mouth under the tongue.
  • The buccal glands are in the mucous membrane lining the cheeks and mouth. These glands produce only a small amount of saliva.

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