Salivary glands

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There are 6 salivary glands in humans. On each side of the mouth, there is a parotid gland (in the ear), submandibular gland (in the lower jaw), and sublingual gland (under the tongue). All these salivary glands serve to produce and excrete saliva. Saliva in the mouth is excreted through the excretory duct of each gland. The salivary glands are part of the exocrine gland system (the latter do not release their substances into the blood but rather into a body cavity, in this case the mouth). Saliva helps in the digestion of food. It also acts as a defense against tooth cavities. A salivary gland may sometimes be clogged by a stone. In these cases, medical or surgical treatment may be necessary.