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Floor of the Mouth and Salivary Glands

Floor of the Mouth
Beneath the tongue is the floor of the mouth.

The frenulum connects the floor of the mouth to the tongue.

A thick frenulum that limits the movement of the tongue is called ankyloglossia.

Ankyloglossia: A congenital defect characterized by limited mobility of the tongue due to shortness of its frenulum.

In cases where breastfeeding is inhibited, a frenectomy may be done to release the tongue. (See Chapter 11: Oral Findings).

Frenectomy: Excision of a frenulum.

Salivary Glands
Near the frenulum are the tiny openings of the submandibular salivary glands. These openings are called Wharton’s ducts.

There are 2 large salivary glands, known as the Parotid glands. These glands empty through tiny holes called Stenson’s ducts.

Failure of the Parotid glands to produce saliva leads to xerostomia, an abnormal dryness of the mouth

Failure of the Parotid glands to produce saliva leads to
Xerostomia: Abnormal dryness of the mouth due to insufficient saliva production.
xerostomia, an abnormal dryness of the mouth (see Chapter 11: Oral Findings).
 
 
The lingual frenulum, also known as the frenum, connects the floor of the mouth to the tongue.
 
Ankyloglossia occurs when the frenulum is thick and severely limits movement of the tongue. In such cases, a frenectomy may be necessary to release the tongue.
 
There are multiple salivary glands within the mouth, especially along the mouth floor.
 
Failure of the glands to produce saliva results in xerostomia and can be caused by medical conditions or drugs.
View the Chapter 1 Photo Gallery.