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Parotid glands - Definition


Definition

The parotid glands are two large primary salivary glands located in front of and above each ear, just behind the lower jaw bone. They are counted among the different glands that produce saliva, a substance secreted into the mouth playing an important role in the first stage of digestion. Parotid gland dysfunction can be caused by benign or cancerous tumors of the parotid, or obstruction in their secretion channels by gall stones, which is called lithiasis. These glands can also be the site of inflammation, which is the most commonly seen condition, notably in children in cases of a progressive disease caused by mumps.

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