Salivary gland disorder

Salivary Gland Disorders

The salivary glands, located around the mouth and throat, produce saliva to help with digestion. Saliva also helps keep the mouth clean and free of germs. Salivary gland disorders occur when these glands become damaged or swollen, and can cause a variety of symptoms including difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and facial pain.

Types of Salivary Gland Disorders

Common salivary gland disorders include:

  • Salivary gland stones: These are hard deposits that form in the salivary glands, usually when the glands become blocked. They can restrict the flow of saliva, leading to swelling and discomfort.
  • Infections: Bacterial or viral infections can cause the salivary glands to swell, leading to pain and difficulty with swallowing.
  • Sjogren's Syndrome: This is an autoimmune disorder that causes dry mouth and loss of salivary gland function.
  • Tumors: Benign and malignant tumors can form in the salivary glands.

Causes of Salivary Gland Disorders

The exact cause of salivary gland disorders is not always clear, but some common causes include:

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Gland swelling due to dehydration or an allergy
  • Blockages caused by stones, or by medications like antihistamines
  • Injury to the salivary glands
  • Autoimmune conditions like Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Tumors

Symptoms of Salivary Gland Disorders

The symptoms of salivary gland disorders typically depend on the underlying cause. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the face or neck
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands in the neck or jaw
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry mouth

Diagnosis and Treatment of Salivary Gland Disorders

Your doctor will diagnose salivary gland disorders based on your symptoms and medical history. They may also order imaging tests like X-rays or CT scans to look for stones or tumors. Once the underlying cause is determined, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan.

Treatment for salivary gland disorders may include antibiotics for infections, surgery to remove stones, or medications to reduce inflammation or decrease autoimmune symptoms.