Parotid glands

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Parotid glands

In humans, the two parotid glands occur near the mouth and the left ear and the mouth and right ear. These are the two largest glands. Inflammation of one or more of these glands is called parotitis, or parotiditis. It is the major salivary gland in many animals. Each parotid is wrapped around the mandibular ramus, and secretes saliva through the Stensen duct (or parotid duct) into the mouth, to facilitate mastication and swallowing and to begin the digestion of starches. The gland is roughly wedge-shaped when seen superficially and on horizontal sections.

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