What are the Major Salivary Glands? – Human Anatomy | Kenhub

What are the Major Salivary Glands? – Human Anatomy | Kenhub

Today at lunch when you look down at that
beautiful meal in front of you, you may have experienced the strange fluid taking over
your mouth. Well, don’t worry, you probably have felt
this before so it’s all normal. That fluid is called saliva and it comes from
structures called salivary glands. You might be asking now, what are salivary
glands? Well, that’s a mystery no man has ever been
able to answer. No, I’m just kidding. We actually know a few things about the salivary
glands. That’s why on this video, we’ll be taking
you through a short overview of the main salivary glands, their functions and the location,
and because we love anatomy so much, we’re going to go into arterial blood supply and
venous drainage for each. We’re, of course, going to begin with this
image of the right lateral view of the head with the skin cut away. If you’re like me, the next time you see someone
singing, you might think of this image. You’re welcome. There are lots of things happening here, lots
of structures but just as a reference point, here we can see the tongue highlighted in
blue. Before I tell you what are the major salivary
glands, we need to answer that previous question – what is a salivary gland? Let me give you here the definition and a
salivary gland is a secretory gland that, well, secretes tasteless and clear saliva
which has many important functions in your body such as keeping the mucous membrane of
the mouth moist. Yes, that’s exactly what you felt at the beginning
of this tutorial. Salivary glands help us lubricate food. It also prevents tooth decay and are involved
in the initial steps of digestion. The salivary glands in our body can be divided
into major and minor salivary glands, and in this video, we will be giving you a quick
overview of the anatomy of the major salivary glands. And they are the sublingual, the submandibular
and the parotid glands. Now, we’re just going to briefly cover these
glands here on this tutorial, but if you want a little bit more in-depth discussion on the
major salivary glands, you can head to the main Kenhub website. So, first stop in our list, we have this one
here which is the sublingual gland. The sublingual gland is an almond-shaped gland
which is also the smallest gland out of the major salivary glands. It also secretes the smallest amount of saliva
per day. The sublingual glands lie bilaterally on the
floor of your mouth so you have one on each side, and these glands have several ductal
openings that run along the margin of the sublingual folds – just around here. As for the arterial blood supply of the sublingual
gland, there are two separate arteries supplying it. These are the sublingual artery which you
see here and is a branch of the lingual artery and the other artery supplying the sublingual
gland is the submental artery, a branch of the facial artery which has been cut out of
this image but looks something like this. Now we’re going to be talking about the veins. And remember that the veins responsible for
draining the sublingual gland are the veins that have corresponding names to those of
the arteries. For that reason if you remember well, the
arteries that I just mentioned before, you’re going to have then a sublingual vein which
you see here right next to the sublingual artery, and the second vein is then the submental
vein following a similar path as the submental artery. Let’s move on to the next major salivary gland
which is the submandibular gland. This one is situated close to the sublingual
gland. The submandibular glands are located both
superiorly and inferiorly to the inner aspect of the mandible in the submandibular triangle
of the neck seen now highlighted in green which happens to also be known as the digastric
triangle. You can see here the mandible cut and its
relation to the submandibular gland. The submandibular gland shares the same arterial
blood supply as the sublingual gland. It is supplied by the submental artery – a
branch of the facial artery – and the sublingual artery which is then a branch of the lingual
artery. In terms of venous drainage, the submandibular
gland is mainly drained by the submental vein which anastomosis – in other words, connects
– with then the sublingual vein. Now onto the final major salivary gland, and
may I say one of the most popular – the parotid gland. You can see this structure highlighted here
on the picture. The parotid gland is the largest of the major
salivary glands – maybe that is why people love it so much. It is located in front of your ear in a place
known as the preauricular region. The parotid gland has a rich blood supply
due to its constant saliva production especially during mealtimes. I’d like to also mention that the parotid
gland has an irregular-shaped parotid bed or nest which can otherwise be described as
the structure surrounding and touching the parotid gland. And you see the parotid bed now highlighted
in green. Now, let’s talk about the arterial supply
of the parotid gland. The blood supply to the parotid gland comes
from three of the branches of the external carotid artery which are the superficial temporal
artery which you see a bit here on the image, the maxillary artery which would be around
here, and the transverse facial artery. In terms of venous drainage, the parotid gland
is drained mainly by the retromandibular vein. And so that’s it – a sweet, short and snappy
overview of the main salivary glands. What more could you possibly ask for? Well, perhaps, you’re actually looking for
a more detailed review of the salivary glands. Although we poured our blood, sweat and tears
into this video, we wouldn’t hold it against you. Sometimes, your studies require you to learn
a lot of detailed and boring information and there is nothing to be done but to just get
on with it. If that sounds like you, then don’t despair. Really. Over in our main website, you can find the
full video on the main salivary glands with clinical notes which might be useful to you. It’s actually super fun and you won’t even
fall asleep watching it – unless you’re really, really sleepy then I can’t do much
about it. Then head over to kenhub.com to try it for
yourself. We’ll meet you there and don’t forget to subscribe
to our YouTube channel. Until next time, guys. Thanks for watching!

21 Replies to “What are the Major Salivary Glands? – Human Anatomy | Kenhub”

  1. Hello humans! In this video we shed some light on the topic of the major salivary glands and try to help you pick the right anatomy learning method for you. Tell us what's your favorite way of learning Human anatomy. Also, don't forget to check out our fun video tutorials and interactive quizzes: https://khub.me/kaq0y Stay focused.. and happy studying! 😉

  2. Thanks for the information but the diagrams didn't change it was literally the same picture the whole way through the changes I. Colour on the diagram Weren't obvious enough to let me understand what you said or meant.

  3. I had a parotidectomy couple years ago and now my saliva is working overtime, meaning I have to swallow every few seconds seems like, because my mouth is filling up with saliva…why is that?

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