An interesting discovery has been made by researchers that show a set of extra salivary glands inside our heads. It makes one wonder what other undiscovered organs do we have inside our amazing bodies, as not very long ago, Helen O’Connel was the reason we found out what a clitoris looks like in the 2000s.
The discovery in question was made accidentally. A group of researchers was working on prostate cancer patients. They were using an advanced form of imaging method known as PSMA PET/CT (prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography/computerized tomography ) — it is an indicator of prostate cancer. But doing their study, it identified something else as well.
The three salivary glands that we are aware of are sublingual, submandibular, parotid that plays a role in the digestion of food.
“The salivary or mucous glands we knew of in the nasopharynx and microscopically tiny, and over 1000 are equally spread all around the mucosa. We were astonished at this discovery,” stated Wouter Vogel from the Netherlands Cancer Institute.
The discovery shows larger glands than the ones we know of. It’s located behind the nose, above the palate, and close to the center of our head. Humans have approximately a thousand tiny salivary glands that are visible to the naked eye.
These tiny glands haven’t been identified before due to the anatomically inaccessible placement under the skull base. The initial author of the discovery, Matthijs Valstar, who is also an oral surgeon, suggests that these salivary glands have additional characteristics. As they are found right above the torus tuberous, they can also be called subaerial glands.
If these glands receive radiation treatment, chances of damage are high, based on the reviewed data analysis of 723 patients who have gone through this treatment. So the area in which salivary glands are located should be avoided while giving radiation treatment to avoid radioactive damage.