salivary gland problems

in Tuscaloosa, AL

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Saliva is an essential part of digestion that also helps with swallowing and protects your teeth from bacteria. Your salivary glands contain three major glands; the parotid glands on the sides of the cheeks, the sublingual glands under the tongue and the submandibular glands in your upper neck. If you are experiencing problems with your salivary glands, it could be an indicator of a disorder or infection.

Sialolithiasis

Sialolithiasis is also known as salivary stones and is the most common cause of salivary gland inflammation. This problem occurs when stones made of calcium form in the salivary glands and in turn block the glands and interfere with the flow of saliva. Symptoms of sialolithiasis can include a painful lump under the tongue or painful swelling of your cheek that is increased when eating.

Sialadenitis

This is an infection often caused by blockage of the gland ducts. Symptoms of this disorder may include a lump in your cheek or under your chin, fever, or pus that drains in your mouth from one of the gland openings.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as a bad taste in your mouth, mouth pain, facial swelling, dry mouth or trouble opening your mouth, please contact Alabama Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists to schedule an appointment today. You doctor will do a physical exam and in some cases an MRI or CT scan which can provide more information as to the source of your symptoms. Once the cause has been determined, a treatment that best fits your needs will be provided.

Infections

Viral infections can also cause the salivary glands to swell. Swelling can occur on both sides of the face in parotid glands, causing the appearance of “chipmunk cheeks.” This most commonly occurs with the mumps, though other viral infections, like the flu, can also cause salivary gland swelling.

In the case of bacterial infections, patients often experience one-sided salivary gland swelling. Patients may also experience fever and pain. These infections can be serious, so if you believe that you are experiencing a bacterial infection in the mouth, contact a medical professional immediately.

Cysts and Tumors

In the case that the flow of saliva is blocked by infections, injuries, etc., cysts can develop in the salivary glands. Tumors can also affect the salivary glands, most commonly pleomorphic adenomas and Warthin’s tumors.

If you are experiencing issues with your salivary glands, contact Alabama ENT Specialists in Tuscaloosa today. Call 205-722-6822 to schedule your appointment.  For more information, visit our blog page.

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