Salivary gland

One of the glands in the mouth that produce saliva. There are 3 major salivary glands. They are the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. Each of these glands is paired; there is one parotid gland on each side of the head, etc. The parotid glands are located in front of the ears; the submandibular glands are under the mandible (the lower jaw); and the sublingual glands are under the tongue. Most of the mucosal surfaces within the mouth also contain many minor mucus-secreting salivary glands. Abnormal sublingual and submandibular glands can be felt when the floor of the mouth is palpated (felt) bimanually (with two hands). Enlargement of the parotid gland can occur in front of the ear or overlying the mandible. The salivary glands can be affected in various diseases. For example, in Sjogren syndrome the salivary glands are infiltrated with lymphocytes and the salivary gland ducts are damaged. The glands atrophy (waste away) so there is less saliva, resulting in extreme dryness of the mouth and lips (xerostomia) that inhibits chewing and swallowing and promotes tooth decay and formation of the calculi (stones) in the salivary ducts. In mumps, there is characteristically painful swelling of the salivary glands, most commonly the parotid glands. The mumps virus enters through the mouth and may be found in saliva for days before the salivary glands swell and for the duration of glandular enlargement. Pain on chewing or swallowing, especially acidic liquids such as lemon juice, is the earliest symptom of parotid gland involvement. The parotid (and any other swollen salivary glands) are typically very tender. There is usually marked swelling over both parotid glands giving the well-known chipmunk appearance. Tumors can arise in the salivary glands, most commonly occur in the parotid glands followed by the submandibular and minor glands and, least often, sublingual glands. About three-quarters of salivary tumors are benign slow-growing tumors. They are typically painless nodules beneath normal skin or the mucosal lining of the mouth. The most common is the mixed salivary gland tumor (a benign pleomorphic adenoma). It occurs predominantly in women over 40. Malignancies can occur within such tumors., resulting in carcinoma. The treatment is surgery.

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salivary gland n any of various glands that discharge a fluid secretion and esp. saliva into the mouth cavity and that in humans comprise large compound racemose glands including the parotid glands, the sublingual glands, and the submandibular glands

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a gland that produces saliva. There are three pairs of salivary glands: the parotid gland, sublingual gland, and submandibular gland. They are stimulated by reflex action, which can be initiated by the taste, smell, sight, or thought of food.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Salivary gland — Salivary glands: #1 is Parotid gland, #2 is Submandibular gland, #3 is Sublingual gland …   Wikipedia

  • salivary gland — noun any of three pairs of glands in the mouth and digestive system that secrete saliva for digestion • Hypernyms: ↑exocrine gland, ↑exocrine, ↑duct gland • Hyponyms: ↑parotid gland, ↑sublingual gland, ↑sublingual salivary gland, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • salivary gland — UK [səˈlaɪvərɪ ˌɡlænd] / US [ˈsælɪˌverɪ ˌɡlænd] noun [countable] Word forms salivary gland : singular salivary gland plural salivary glands medical any of the organs that produce the saliva in your mouth …   English dictionary

  • salivary gland — Anat. any of several glands, as the submaxillary glands, that secrete saliva. [1700 10] * * * Any of the organs that secrete saliva. Three pairs of major glands secrete saliva into the mouth through distinct ducts: the parotid glands (the… …   Universalium

  • salivary gland — 1. (ARTHROPODA: Insecta) Glands that open into the mouth, esophagus or at the beginning of the alimentary canal, that secrete a digestive substance; see labial gland, esophageal glands, peptonephridia. 2. (MOLLUSCA: Cephalopoda) In Sepia and… …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • salivary gland — a gland that produces saliva. There are three pairs of salivary glands: the parotid glands, sublingual glands, and submandibular glands. They are stimulated by reflex action, which can be initiated by the taste, smell, sight, or thought of food …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • salivary gland — [[t]səla͟ɪvəri glænd, AM sæ̱lɪveri [/t]] salivary glands N COUNT: usu pl Your salivary glands are the glands that produce saliva in your mouth …   English dictionary

  • salivary gland — a gland of unknown function on the floor of the mouth on either side of the tongue in Petromyzontiformes …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • salivary gland — sa livary .gland n a part of your mouth that produces saliva …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • salivary gland — sal|i|var|y gland [ sælı,veri ,glænd ] noun count any of the organs that produce the saliva in your mouth …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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