Skip to content
Patient Info

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Salivary glands

Location of sublingual, submandibular, and parotid salivary glands under tongue, under jaw, and close to ear.

Salivary glands produce saliva, which moistens the mouth to help a person chew and swallow food. Saliva also contains substances (enzymes) that begin the breakdown of food.

There are four pairs of salivary glands, four glands on each side:

  • The parotid glands are between the ear and the jaw.
  • The submandibular glands are under the jaw.
  • The sublingual glands are on the floor of the mouth under the tongue.
  • The buccal glands are in the mucous membrane lining the cheeks and mouth. These glands produce only a small amount of saliva.

Current as of: June 6, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine