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Stensen's duct

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Title: Stensen's duct  
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Subject: Scientific phenomena named after people, List of subjects in Gray's Anatomy: XI. Splanchnology, Salivary ducts, Stenson, Stensen
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Stensen's duct

Parotid duct
Right parotid gland. Deep and anterior aspects. (Parotid duct labeled at center right.)
Dissection, showing salivary glands of right side. (Parotid duct visible at center.)
Latin Ductus parotideus
Gray's subject #242 1134
MeSH Stensen's+Duct

The parotid duct or Stensen duct is an excretory duct and the route that saliva takes from the major salivary gland, the parotid gland into the mouth.[1]


It is named after Nicolas Steno (1638–1686), a Danish anatomist credited with its detailed description in 1660.


It passes through the buccal fat, buccopharyngeal fascia, and buccinator muscle then opens into the vestibule of the mouth across from the maxillary second molar tooth on the inner surface of the buccal mucosa at the parotid papilla.[2] The buccinator acts as a valve that prevents inflation of the duct during blowing. Running along with the duct superiorly is the transverse facial artery and upper buccal nerve; running along with the duct inferiorly is the lower buccal nerve.

Clinical relevance

Blockage, whether caused by salivary duct stones or external compression, may cause pain and swelling of the parotid gland (parotitis).

Additional images

See also


External links

  • Diagram at MSU
  • eMedicine - Parotid duct injuries
  • doctor/2052 at Who Named It?
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