The parotid duct
, also known as Stensen's duct
, is the route that Saliva
takes from the parotid gland
into the mouth.
It passes through the buccal fat, buccopharyngeal fascia and buccinator muscle then opens into the vestibule of the mouth opposite the upper 2nd molar tooth. The buccinator acts as a valve which prevents inflation of the duct during blowing. Running along with the duct superiorly is the transverse facial artery and upper buccal nerve, inferiorly is the lower buccal nerve.
Blockage, whether caused by salivary duct stones
or external compression, may cause pain and swelling of the parotid gland (parotitis
It is named after Niels Stensen
(1638-1686), a Danish anatomist
credited with its discovery.