Salivary Glands

Salivary glands are responsible for producing saliva in the mouth. They aid in chewing and swallowing by moistening food. Saliva enters the mouth through ducts that can sometimes become irritated and/or swollen.

Symptoms can include:

  • Swelling of the face (that increases with eating, then decreases)
  • Dry mouth
  • Abnormal taste
  • Mouth or facial pain
  • Decreased ability to open the mouth
  • Fever

An examination will determine if your salivary glands are causing a problem. When palpated, the gland may become painful or pus may drain into the mouth.

Treatments include:

  • Good oral hygiene
  • Warm salt-water rinses
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Using sugar-free lemon drops to increase salivation to flush out duct
  • Use Chlorhexidine rinse

At times, salivary gland issues arise from a salivary stone. It is not known what causes these stones. When a salivary stone is lodged in a gland, saliva can become backed up and cause irritation. The stone must be removed and biopsied. Below are images demonstrating salivary stones in a CAT scan.