Salivary glands

Salivary glands produce saliva, which moistens the mouth to help a person chew and swallow food. Saliva also contains substances (enzymes) that begin the breakdown of food.

There are four pairs of salivary glands:

  • The parotid glands are located between the ear and the jaw.
  • The submandibular glands are located under the jaw.
  • The sublingual glands are located on the floor of the mouth under the tongue.
  • The buccal glands are not shown in this picture. They are located in the mucous membrane lining the cheeks and mouth. These glands produce only a small amount of saliva.

Current as of: December 9, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

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