Salivary Gland Disease
The salivary glands, located in the mouth and throat, are responsible for producing saliva to keep your food moist, making it easier to chew and swallow. Saliva also aids in digestion, keeps your teeth from decaying and contains antibodies that keep your mouth clean and germ-free. Disorders of the salivary glands can interfere with these processes and lead to a variety of health problems.
Disorders of the Salivary Glands
Disorders of the salivary glands may be related to a variety of factors. Obstructions that limit the flow of saliva, causing it to build up in the ductal system and cause swelling, may lead to infection. These inflammatory problems in the glands are called sialoadenitis. If left untreated, these can occasionally lead to abscessed glands.
Treatment for Salivary Gland Disease
Your doctor will usually take either a medical or surgical approach for treatment of a salivary gland disorder, depending on the underlying cause and its progression.
Simple sialoadenitis is treated with the following measures:
- Suck on sour/lemon, sugar free candy – this will promote production of normal, thin saliva
- Drink plenty of water – this will help flush the gland and ducts
- Warm compresses to the swollen area
- Gentle gland massage
If sialoadenitis episodes are repeated or become resistant to medical measures and antibiotics, they can sometimes be treated with dilation procedures or surgical removal.
An otolaryngologist (ENT specialist) familiar with salivary gland diseases is best qualified to come up with a suitable treatment plan and will make a recommendation based on your symptoms and condition.
If you are concerned about a neck lump or bump, or think you could have a problem with a saliva gland, call DeFatta ENT & Allergy at (715) 828-2368 for more information or to schedule an appointment.