Submandibular gland

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The submandibular glands are paired salivary glands located behind and below the ramus of the mandible. They secrete saliva that is excreted into the oral cavity via the submandibular duct that connects the gland to the floor of the mouth.

Gross anatomy

Its lower superficial lobe continues as smaller deep lobe by wrapping around the posterior border of the mylohyoid. The superficial lobe of the submandibular gland is in the submandibular space, and the deep lobe is situated in the sublingual space where it can be palpated intraorally. Posteriorly it is separated from the parotid gland by the stylomandibular ligament.

It is encapsulated during development and does not normally contain lymph nodes. There is a fibrous capsule surrounding the gland, formed by the split layers of the investing layer of the deep cervical fascia.

Relations

Cervical branch of the facial nerve and facial vein are its superficial relations to the inferior surface of the superficial lobe. The facial artery grooves posterosuperiorly to the gland and descends to the inferior border of the mandible, where it can be palpated, and to ascend in front of the masseter muscle.

The deep part the gland extends forwards and lies between mylohyoid inferolaterally, hyoglossus and styloglossus medially.

Related pathology


Head and neck anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 10459
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Submandibular glands
  • Submandibular salivary gland

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    Figure 1: submandibular gland (annotated number 2)
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