What is the Parotid Gland?
The parotid gland (also called parotis or glandulaparotidea) is the largest salivary gland in the jaw-mouth area.
It differs from other salivary glands in the mouth because of its size, location and the saliva composition that it produces. In humans, it is located on both sides of the face, in front and under the ear, and reaches from the zygomatic arch down to the jaw angle. It has a flat, triangular form and weighs 20-30 grams. It is surrounded by a connective tissue capsule (fascia), also called parotis lodge, or fascia parotidea. The gland is separated into an interior and exterior lobe by the facial nerve, which splits up in a fan-like fashion within the gland.
The gland is made up of many small gland cells that produce saliva. The saliva is collected in small corridors. These small corridors connect to become bigger corridors. Ultimately, a few large corridors culminate into a collective exit corridor. The exit corridor ends in the oral cavity and can be recognized as the small, dark spot opposite the first and second upper molars. When the doctor massages the parotid gland, clear saliva should flow from the exit corridor.
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