Citation, DOI & article data
The parotid duct passes anteriorly through the buccal fat superficial to the masseter muscle and over its anterior border, then through the buccopharyngeal fascia and the buccinator muscle. It then continues between the buccal mucosa and the buccinator to its opening in the vestibule of the mouth, located next to the upper second molar tooth at the parotid ampulla. The buccinator muscle ensures that ballooning of the duct does not occur during blowing.
It is approximately 5 cm long, At four different points along its length, it has mean diameters ranging between 1.4 mm and 0.5 mm, with a maximum of 2.3 mm and a minimum of 0.1 mm, depending on the site 7.
Several other structures run alongside the parotid duct:
History and etymology
It is named after the Danish anatomist Niels Stensen (1638-1686) 2 (also known as Nicolaus Steno) who was the first to describe it, initially in a sheep, in 1660. His colleague Sylvius (1614-1672) confirmed its presence in the human body and van Horne in Leyden named it after Stensen 6.
Blockage of the parotid duct can occur secondary to salivary duct stones or external compression. Either cause of obstruction can cause pain and parotitis. Stones are more common in the submandibular gland and duct.
- 1. Lang J. Clinical anatomy of the masticatory apparatus peripharyngeal spaces. Thieme Publishing Group. ISBN:3137991013. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Clarke E. Nicolas Stensen and the Brain [Abstract]. (1965) Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine. 58 (10): 749. Pubmed
- 3. Snell RS. Clinical Anatomy by Regions. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN:160913446X. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 4. Moore KL, Agur AMR, Dalley AF. Clinically oriented anatomy. LWW. ISBN:1451119453. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 5. Last's anatomy, regional and applied. Churchill Livingstone. ISBN:044304662X. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 6. PORTER IH. Thomas Bartholin (1616-80) and Niels STEENSEN (1638-86). Master and pupil. (1963) Medical history. 7: 99-125. Pubmed
- 7. Zenk J, Hosemann WG, Iro H. Diameters of the main excretory ducts of the adult human submandibular and parotid gland: a histologic study. (1998) Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics. 85 (5): 576-80. doi:10.1016/s1079-2104(98)90294-3 - Pubmed