It produces serous saliva, a watery solution rich in enzymes. This is then secreted into the oral cavity, where it lubricates and aids in the breakdown of food.
Para = around; otic = ear
The Parotid is the largest of the salivary glands.It weighs about 15 g. It is situated below the external acoustic meatus, between the ramus of the mandible and the sternocleidomastoid.
The gland resembles a three- sided pyramid. The apex of the pyramid is directed downwards. The gland has four surfaces
The surfaces are separated by three borders
Structures emerging at the periphery of the parotid gland
Horizontal section through the parotid gland showing its relations and the structures passing through it
Gross features of parotid gland
The apex overlaps the posterior belly of the digastric and the adjoining part of the carotid triangle. The cervical branch of the facial nerve nd the two divisions of the retromandibular vein emerge through it.
The superior surface or base forms the upper and of the gland which is small and concave. It is related to
- The cartilaginous part of the external acoustic meatus
- The posterior surface of the temporomandibular joint
- The superficial temporal vessels
- The auriculotemporal nerve
The superficial surface is the largest of the four surfaces. It is covered with
(b) Superficial fascia.
The anteromedial surface is grooved by the posterior border of the ramus of the mandible.
The posteromedial surface: The styloid process, with structures attached to it. The external carotid artery enters the gland through this surface.
Structures within the gland: External carotid artery, retromandibular vein, Facial nerve, and Lymph nodes.
Nerve Supply: The secretomotor nerve supply is traced in Flow Chart
Tracing nerve supply of parotid gland
Inferior salivatory nucleus
Lesser petrosal Nerve
Relay in otic ganglion
Postganglionic fibers through auriculotemporal nerve