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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy
The parotid salivary glands sit in the recess between the sternomastoid muscle and the ramus of the mandible - the parotid bed. Within the fascia of the parotid sheath, the gland extends forwards over the masseter muscle. Its duct runs forwards and medially to open into the mouth opposite the second molar tooth.
With the submandibular glands, the parotid gland is responsible for the majority of all saliva produced. Of all the salivary glands, the parotid is the most commonly affected by tumours.
Important structures within the parotid gland include the facial nerve, the retromandibular vein, and the external carotid artery.