The purpose of this retrospective chart review study was to review the nature and clinical course of benign and malignant submandibular gland tumors at 2 major university-affiliated tertiary medical centers. All patients who underwent submandibular salivary gland excision between 1990 and 2010 were included. Clinical and disease-related data were collected from the medical charts. One hundred ninety-three patients were identified, of whom 108 (56%) had non-neoplastic disorders (sialolithiasis and sialadenitis). The remaining 85 patients (44%) had a submandibular salivary gland tumor. The most common benign neoplasm was pleomorphic adenoma (53 patients). Twenty tumors (24%) were malignant: adenoid cystic carcinoma in 11 patients, mucoepidermoid carcinoma in 6 patients, and adenocarcinoma in 3 patients. Recurrence was noted in 7 patients with submandibular gland malignancy and in 2 patients with pleomorphic adenoma. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 63%. Tumors of the submandibular gland are infrequently malignant. Recurrent submandibular salivary gland pleomorphic adenoma is rare compared with recurrences in the parotid gland.