Parotid Gland : Detailed Explanation

 What Is Parotid Gland?

The Parotid gland is a small gland located in the neck just below the Adam’s apple. It is responsible for producing saliva and producing a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is sometimes called the “cuddle hormone” because it is believed to be responsible for promoting maternal behaviors and social attachments.

Your parotid glands are predominant salivary glands. You have them, and they’re positioned simply in front of and below every ear.

Like your other essential salivary glands (submandibular and sublingual), your parotid glands produce saliva (spit) to preserve your mouth lubrication, and to aid in chewing and digestion.

Some humans expand parotid gland infections or swelling (parotitis). When this takes place, endorsed remedies may also include antibiotics, warm compresses or parotid gland rubdown.

Some human beings develop parotid gland tumors. Treatments may additionally include surgical operation to cast off all or a part of your parotid gland, radiation remedy or chemotherapy.

wing and grinding food.

Tooth, plural teeth, any of the difficult, resistant structures happening at the jaws and in or across the mouth and pharynx areas of vertebrates. Teeth are used for catching and masticating food, for defense, and for different specialized purposes.

Parotid Gland function

The parotid gland is a major salivary gland located on each side of the face, just in front of the ear. It plays a crucial role in the digestive process by producing saliva, which serves several important functions in the body:

  • Saliva Production: The primary function of the parotid gland is to produce saliva. Saliva is a watery fluid that contains various enzymes, electrolytes, mucus, and antibacterial compounds. These components are essential for breaking down food and facilitating the process of digestion.

  • Digestion: Saliva contains enzymes, such as amylase, that begin the process of breaking down carbohydrates in the mouth. Amylase breaks down starches into simpler sugars, which is the first step in carbohydrate digestion.

  • Lubrication: Saliva helps in moistening and lubricating food, making it easier to swallow. This lubrication prevents discomfort and damage to the delicate tissues of the mouth and throat during the swallowing process.

  • Taste and Sensation: Saliva also plays a role in the perception of taste. It carries dissolved molecules from food to the taste buds on the tongue, allowing us to experience flavors.

  • Oral Hygiene: Saliva contains antibacterial compounds that help control the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. It helps in maintaining oral hygiene by rinsing away food particles and debris, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

  • pH Regulation: Saliva helps maintain the pH balance in the mouth. It contains bicarbonate ions that buffer acids produced by bacteria and acids present in the food we consume. This buffering action helps prevent damage to tooth enamel and maintains a healthy oral environment.

  • Wound Healing: Saliva contains growth factors and proteins that promote tissue repair and wound healing in the mouth.

  • Speech: The moistening effect of saliva helps in articulating words and facilitates clear speech.

The parotid gland is one of three pairs of major salivary glands in the human body, along with the submandibular and sublingual glands. These glands collectively produce and secrete saliva to assist in various aspects of digestion, oral health, and overall comfort.

Cause of swollen parotid glands

  1. Swollen parotid glands are often the result of a viral infection, such as mumps, or an inflammation of the salivary glands, such as sialadenitis. Other possible causes include cysts, tumors, stones in the duct of the gland, or blockage of the gland by food debris. Injury to the area, such as from dental work, can also cause swelling.

  2. One possible reason for your clogged tear duct or swollen parotid gland is an infection. It is common for newborns to get an infection in their tear ducts, which can cause a blockage. If you have an infection, you may also have swollen lymph nodes in your neck. The lymph nodes are part of the body's immune system.

  3. Swollen parotid glands can be caused by a number of things, including: dehydration, tumors, and mumps. Mumps is an infection of the parotid gland and is the most common cause of swollen parotid glands in children. Other causes of swollen parotid glands include: salivary gland stones, viral infections, and bacterial infections. Treatment for swollen parotid glands depends on the underlying cause.

  4. “The parotid gland is located at the base of the ear and is responsible for producing saliva. When the parotid gland is swollen, it can cause pain and difficulty swallowing. There are many different causes of swollen parotid glands, including infections, stones, and tumors. Treatment for swollen parotid glands will vary depending on the underlying cause.”

Several fitness conditions can motive pain and parotid gland swelling, such as

  • Sialolithiasis. This is the scientific time period for calcified stones (calculi) which can expand and block your parotid gland ducts. Sialolithiasis results in painful swelling that worsens while you eat.

  • Sialadenitis. This refers to parotid gland contamination as a result of blockages, bacteria or viruses. Culprits consist of staph infections and the mumps virus.

  • Parotid gland tumors. These can increase in either lobe, causing swelling of your jaw and face. Most parotid gland tumors are noncancerous. But it’s viable to broaden cancerous parotid gland tumors.

  • Parotid gland most cancers. Salivary gland cancers — such as mucoepidermoid carcinoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma — aren’t very common. In truth, they make up about 6% to eight% of all head and neck cancers. But in case you increase parotid gland cancer, prompt treatment is vital to prevent most cancer cells from spreading to your lymph nodes.

Maintaining the health of the parotid glands

The parotid glands are essential for maintaining oral health. They secrete saliva, which helps to break down food and protect the teeth. If the parotid glands are not functioning correctly, it can lead to a number of problems, including tooth decay, gingivitis, and bad breath.

Keeping your parotid gland healthy involves making sure you have sufficient saliva to preserve your mouth. Here are some tips to assist:

  • Drink lots of water.

  • Chew sugarless gum.

  • Suck on sugarless candy.

  • Avoid smoking.

  • Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake.

  • Ask your healthcare company approximately saliva substitutes.

Key records approximately the parotid gland

Parotid gland cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors of the major salivary glands, representing 65% of all salivary gland malignancies. It usually arises from the parotid gland parenchyma, arising most commonly in the superficial lobe. Less commonly, it may arise in the deep lobe or in the parotid duct. The most common clinical presentation of parotid gland cancer is a slow-growing mass in the parotid gland, which may or may not be accompanied by a local neck mass.

The parotid gland is located in the posterior cheek and is the largest of the salivary glands. The parotid gland is also the most common site for salivary gland tumors. Salivary gland tumors are rare, accounting for only about four percent of all head and neck tumors. There are two types of salivary gland tumors, benign and malignant.

Gross anatomy:

  • Largest of the salivary glands 

  • Paired organ

  • Irregular in form, but more or less pyramidal

  • Divided into superficial and deep lobes

Anatomical relations:

  • The facial nerve (CN VII), external carotid artery, retromandibular vein all pierce the parotid gland

  • Drains via the parotid duct of Stensen

  • Accessory parotid gland associated superiorly to the duct


  • Superior – zygomatic arch

  • Posterior – outside acoustic meatus and sternocleidomastoid muscle

  • Anterior – sternocleidomastoid muscle inferiorly, masseter muscle


  • Serous cells

  • Serous acini

Neurovascular supply and lymphatic drainage:

  • Arterial Supply – superficial temporal artery, maxillary artery, transverse facial artery branches of the outside carotid artery

  • Venous Drainage – retromandibular vein

  • Lymphatic Drainage – deep cervical lymph nodes

  • Innervation – glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX) and auriculotemporal nerves


  • Ectodermal myoepithelial origin

  • sixth gestational week – improvement starts

  • tenth gestational week – arborization and canalization starts off evolved

  • 18th gestational week – early secretions

  • twenty eighth gestational week – the maturation of the acini and ducts

Parotid gland disorders:

  • Sialolithiasis (parotid gland stones)

  • Parotitis

  • Suppurative sialadenitis

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