Parotid duct

Parotid duct

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.

Pathology

Blockage, whether caused by salivary duct stones or external compression, may cause pain and swelling of the parotid gland (parotitis).

Eponym

It is named after Niels Stensen (1638-1686), a Danish anatomist credited with its discovery.

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