Salivary glands

Location of sublingual, submandibular, and parotid salivary glands under tongue, under jaw, and close to ear.

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, four glands on each side:

  • The parotid glands are between the ear and the jaw.
  • The submandibular glands are under the jaw.
  • The sublingual glands are on the floor of the mouth under the tongue.
  • The buccal glands are in the mucous membrane lining the cheeks and mouth. These glands produce only a small amount of saliva.

Current as of: September 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine