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Submandibular calculi are common because stasis in the duct is encouraged both by the submandibular glands lying below the opening of the duct on the floor of the mouth, and the large mucous content of the secretions of the submandibular gland. They may be found anywhere along Warthin's duct, including its course within the gland. They vary in size from several millimetres to centimetres in diameter. Those in the distal part tend to have an elongated 'date stone' shape.
They should be differentiated from a stenosis of the duct orifice due to repeated trauma and fibrosis, e.g. following irritation from a sharp tooth, or a bite of the cheek.