The Salivary Gland

The principal salivary glands communicating with the mouth and pouring their secretion into its cavity are the parotid, submaxillary, and sublingual.

The parotic gland, so called from being placed near the ear is the largest of the three salivary glands, varying in weight from half an ounce to an ounce. It lies upon the side of the face immediately below by the angle of the jaw and by a line drawn between it and the mastoid process: anteriorly, it extends to a variable extent over the Masseter muscle; posteriorly it is bounded by the external meatus, the mastoid process and the Sterno mastoid and Digastric muscles, slightly overlapping the two muscles.

Its anterior surface is grooved to embrace the posterior margin of the ramus of the lower jaw, and advances forward beneath the ramus, between the two Pterygoid muscles and superficial to the ramus over the Masseter muscle. Its outer surface, slightly lobulated, is covered by the integument and parotid faseia and has one or two lymphatic glands resting on it. Its inner surface extends deeply into the neck by means of two large processes, one of which dips behind the styloid process and projects beneath the mastoid process and the Sterno-mastoid muscle; the outer is situated in front of styloid process and passes into the back part of the glenoid fossa, behind the articulation of the lower jaw. The structures passing through the parotid gland are the external carotid artery, giving off its three terminal branches; the posterior auricular artery emerges from the gland behind; the temporal artery above; the transverse facial, a branch of the temporal, in front; and the internal maxillary winds through it as it passes inward, behind the neck of the jaw.

Superficial to the external carotid is the trunk formed by the union of the temporal and internal maxillary veins; a branch, connecting this trunk with the internal jugular, also passes through the gland.


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