Development of mouth cavity and salivary glands

Mouth cavity:

  1. Floor of foregut (Endoderm)
  2. Stomodeum (Ectoderm)

In between is the Buccopharyngeal membrane which ruptures at the end of the 3rd week

development of mouth cavity

Salivary glands

1. Parotid gland: Ectodermal

  • Ectodermal groove appears behind the angle of the mouth
  • Closes to form the parotid duct
  • Branches repeatedly and canalizes to form acini
  • Duct recedes from the angle of the mouth
  • Duct opens in vestibule, opposite maxillary 2nd molar

2. Submandibular gland: Endodermal

  • Endodermal groove appears between tongue and gums
  • Closes to form submandibular duct
  • Branches repeatedly and canalizes to form acini
  • Anterior end of duct proceeds forwards , and opens close to frenulum of tongue

3. Sublingual gland: Endodermal

  • Arise as small buds from submandibular groove
  • Attain common sheath
  • Has several openings in floor of mouth


  1. Cyst formation – Lymphoepithelial cysts/branchial cysts commonly found in the anterior triangle of the neck
  2. Agenesis (failure to develop) of gland
  3. Atresia (no canalization) of duct