Salivary Gland Infection

Salivary gland Infection surgery

Last Updated June 12th, 2019

Overview

The saliva in your mouth performs a variety of important functions. It lubricates your mouth and teeth, protects the soft tissues like the insides of your cheeks from injury and even contains enzymes that initiate the process of digestion as soon your food mixes with saliva. This liquid is secreted by a group of special glands in the mouth and throat. Major salivary glands are arranged in pairs. These include the parotid, sublingual and submandibular glands. Minor ones such as the buccal and labial salivary glands are located in the inner cheeks and the inner side of the lips.

What Is Salivary Gland Infection?

Just like every other part of your body, your salivary glands too can become the target of infectious agents like bacteria and viruses. The medical term for salivary gland infection is ‘sialadenitis’. The most common sign of having an infection in the salivary glands is abnormal, unpleasant tastes in the mouth and having a dry mouth. You may also have pain, redness, swelling and a fever.

What Causes Infection In The Salivary Glands?

Salivary gland InfectionOne of the main functions of saliva is to prevent infection. Sometimes, and for a variety of reasons, a person may suffer from a condition known as dry mouth. Basically, this means that there is not enough saliva in the mouth. As a result, pathogens like bacteria can multiply uncontrollably and give rise to infections.

Other potential causes can range from an autoimmune disorder and infectious disease like mumps to having an immune deficiency. In general, any condition that drastically lowers or weakens your immunity can raise your risk of developing infections. This includes having a severe long-term illness such as cancer or even an HIV infection.

A variety of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and viruses have been known to cause this condition. These include Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, mumps virus and herpes virus. One of the most common pathogens implicated in salivary gland infections is a bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium is normally present on the surface of your skin or even within your upper respiratory passages. As long as your immunity is robust and you are healthy, these bacteria are kept in check and prevented from colonizing your tissues. Otherwise, they are capable of giving rise to a variety of infections ranging in severity from mild to life-threatening.

A fuller list of possible causes appears below:

  • A dry mouth.
  • A side effect of certain medications such as decongestants, bronchodilators, sedatives, and diuretics. This includes certain chemotherapy drugs as well.
  • Having a salivary stone.
  • Blocked salivary gland.
  • Having a habit of breathing with the mouth open.
  • Smoking.
  • Damage to the salivary glands.
  • Inflammation of the salivary glands. This can be caused by radiation therapy to the head and neck region.
  • Nerve damage.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Dehydration.
  • Mumps.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Anemia.
  • Stroke.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, also an autoimmune disorder.
  • Diabetes.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Parkinson’s disease.

What Are The Identifying Signs Of A Salivary Gland Infection?

Salivary gland modelSince infection is involved you may have a fever. The infection will also cause a swelling of your salivary glands and this can be painful. It can make it difficult for you to chew your food or swallow normally when eating or even otherwise. If you have a few or more of the symptoms listed below, you may be suffering from a salivary gland infection:

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • A dry mouth. Typically, you will have a sticky feeling in your mouth.
  • Unpleasant tastes.
  • Swelling in the sides of the face or below the jaw. There may also be some amount of swelling in the area of your neck.
  • Redness.
  • Localised warmth.
  • Tenderness or pain.
  • Pus in the mouth.
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth or turning the neck.
  • Difficulty in swallowing and chewing.

When it comes to oral health, maintenance of complete oral hygiene is the best way to prevent salivary gland infections. Look no further than these for total protection.

Oral Hygiene Products

Soothing mouthwash

Must-Have

Dry mouth spray

Charcoal Toothpaste

Should I Be Worried About Complications?

One way in which the condition could worsen is when the infection in your salivary glands spreads to other areas. Alternatively, you could develop an abscess if you allow the infection to go untreated. You may also develop complications as a result of the underlying condition that is responsible for your salivary gland infection. Hence, it is important to visit a doctor for a formal diagnosis so that the cause can be identified and treated before it produces more problems.

What Tests Are Needed To Diagnose It? What Treatments Do I Need To Take?

Salivary gland Infection surgeryIf you are suffering from an infectious disease like mumps, this may become evident upon visual and physical examination by the swelling in the sides of your face. In other cases, the actual cause may not be as evident or as easy to gauge based on the symptoms alone. If you have an existing autoimmune disorder or long-term illness, informing your doctor about this will help to make the diagnosis. You may require laboratory tests and may also need to undergo imaging tests, especially where tumors or salivary stones are implicated.

The following procedures may be involved:

  • Physical examination.
  • Medical history.
  • Ultrasound imaging.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Biopsy.

The parotid glands located beneath the ears and the submandibular glands below your chin are the ones most likely to be affected by infection. However, an infection in the salivary glands is not very common. While the infection itself can be cleared up with medication, you should pay attention to resolving any underlying problems that may have allowed it to arise in the first place.

Having a dry mouth is one of the most likely scenarios. If this is due to a modifiable factor like low water intake, then you should take steps to rectify it. On the other hand, a chronic problem like Sjogren’s syndrome cannot be completely cured. Your doctor should be able to advise you on how to proceed.

Prevention of Salivary Gland Infections

  • Vaccines– Getting vaccinated for mumps can prevent the infection. The MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine should be administered during adulthood even if the individual has been vaccinated during childhood. The vaccine is given in 2 doses with a gap of 4 weeks between the doses.
  • Good oral hygieneMaintaining a good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day and regular use of antibacterial mouthwash can help in preventing salivary gland infections. Visit your dentist once in a year to get your oral cavity checked for any hidden infections.
  • Quit smoking– Smoking can cause xerostomia (dry mouth) which makes the oral cavity prone to infections.
  • Hydrate yourself– Dehydration due to any reason can make your mouth susceptible to infections.  Drink plenty of fluids to avert dehydration.

Facts

  • According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), dehydration can make you prone to salivary gland infections.
  • Chronic smokers are at a high risk of getting salivary gland infections.
  • An individual has 3 pairs of major salivary glands.

Facts

  • There are around 600 to 1000 minor salivary glands located in the mouth, lips, and throat.
  • The saliva has an enzyme called ptyalin or salivary amylase that helps in the digestion of starch. The enzyme converts starch into a sugar known as maltose.

Facts

  • The saliva can fight against certain bacteria and infections as it contains antibodies (immunoglobulin A), lysozyme, lactoferrin, peroxidase etc.
  • The saliva can protect the tooth enamel from damage caused by acidic foods and drinks by neutralizing the acids.
  • The water content of saliva is around 98% to 99%.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Drink plenty of fluids (non-acidic and without artificial sweeteners). This will keep you from dehydration.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene. A poor oral hygiene can make you susceptible to salivary gland infections.
  • Get vaccinated for mumps to prevent the infection.
Don'ts
  • Ignore symptoms such as pain while chewing or swallowing, swollen or painful salivary glands on one or both sides of the face, loss of appetite.
  • Indulge in smoking. Chronic smokers are highly susceptible to salivary gland infections.
  • Resort to self-medication. Salivary gland infections can be misdiagnosed as flu or a sore throat. Consult a qualified healthcare provider or a registered dentist.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis pump. It is…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the female clitoris to…
apple cider vinegar weight loss
Apple cider vinegar: Weight loss, shinier hair, and more! Did you know that apple cider vinegar, produced by the simple fermentation of apple juice, could hold the…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a separate organ.  Can…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with essential nutrients that…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best way to please…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too! Read on to…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure countless ailments and…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of the entire global…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an inexplicable emotional numbness…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing tips to get…
Experts reveal, how long does marijuana actually stay in your system… Weed or marijuana is one of the most widely abused recreational drug. But did you know how long…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How you can use…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Is this is the real life? Is this just fantasy? – Decoding the myths of lucid dreaming Lucid dreaming or dreaming with a state of awareness has often intrigued the minds of experts worldwide. Do…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
Military diet
Military Diet : Why following a highly restrictive diet is a bad idea Is seiging your calorie intake the right way to attack fats? Read more about Military diet, a highly…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
Tea Tree Oil : The one stop cure for skin ailments and more… The popularity of tea tree oil, an essential oil, as the ultimate skin care pick is not unheard…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes, environmental circumstances, etc.
Internal bleeding brain
Beware: Ignoring these tell-tale signs of stroke could cost a life The signs and symptoms of a stroke differ depending on which part of the brain has been affected.…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga over them? Are…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling of either digust…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep going in vain?…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar from the flowers…
boost brain health
The ultimate tips on how to boost your brain health Would you like to be smarter? Want a sharp memory but bored of doing sudoku? Try salsa or…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something as slimy as…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Vitamin C: The instant health benefits of adding the citrusy goodness to your diet Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be synthesized in your body and has to be obtained…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken the world by…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron is one of…
Legumes: Little pods of infinite nutrition you should consume daily The fruits and seeds of Fabaceae type of plants are called legumes.The most commonly used legumes are chickpeas,…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
DASH Diet: What to eat in a “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension”? If you or your loved one is suffering from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), dash towards a DASH…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each spoonful you are…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can treat HIV and…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the three important functions…