Dr. Jennifer Vitarelli

What Are the Symptoms of Salivary Gland Infection and How to Treat it

Salivary Gland Infection, also known as Sialadenitis common affects the parotid salivary glands on the side of your face situated nearest to the ears of under the jaw where the submandibular salivary glands are located.

It is an oral condition caused by a bacterial infection. Here is what you need to know about the condition.

Salivary Gland Infection Facts

  • Salivary gland infection can affect anyone including toddlers, but according to statistics, the elderly and the chronically ill people experience it the most.
  • The medical condition is also known as Sialadenitis and is commonly caused by bacteria or viruses in the mouth.
  • The infection of the salivary gland is capable of spreading to the deep tissues of the neck and head. Most medical experts label this stage of the condition as life-threatening. 
  • A blockage or salivary stone can also cause acute infection. If you have chronic inflammation of the salivary gland, it can also reduce or completely stop the function of the organ.

Causes of Salivary Gland Infection

Salivary gland infection can be caused by a variety of oral conditions but it is most commonly caused by bacteria especially the staph or the Staphylococcus aureus bacterias. The infection happens mostly to people who have a dry mouth. This could be due to several reasons listed below.

  • Limited fluid consumption by the patient, prescribed medicine side effects or illness.
  • Due to salivary stone, blockage or kink in the duct of the salivary gland.
  • The condition can also happen to people having Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Common Symptoms of Salivary Gland Infection

You may have salivary gland infection if you experience the following symptoms.

  • Redness, tenderness or pain on the side of your mouth, head, and neck
  • Swelling of the salivary gland and the surrounding tissue
  • Difficulty opening mouth while eating or yawning
  • Chills and fever
  • Infectious fluid being drained from the gland

If you experience the symptoms above, book an appointment with Vitarelli Dental and let us have a thorough look at your mouth. The key to preventing or treating this condition lies in early detection.

During your visit, the dentist will check your medical history and thoroughly examine the salivary glands in the mouth. You may also be required to go through imaging tests such as CT scan or ultrasound to help detect any salivary blockages due to tumors or salivary gland stones.

Available Treatments for Salivary Gland Infection

  • If the condition is still in its early stages and the parotid glands have not been severely infected, the doctor or the dentist may prescribe you intravenous antibiotics to keep the infection from spreading in the deep tissues of the neck and head. 

If the condition has worsened to a point that it has become an uncontrolled infection, it will lead to the swelling of the neck and may even block the airways. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the bones in the face and can become life-threatening.

  • For conditions this worse, you may require surgical treatment. 

This is especially true if the infection does not respond to antibiotics after you have been on them for 48 hours. A doctor or a dental surgeon will perform oral surgery and attempt to drain the salivary gland in order to control the infection and prevent it from spreading further.

  • If there are salivary stones present in the salivary glands and are contributing to the condition, the dental surgeon will remove them surgically. If the stones within the salivary gland are small, then the doctor may use a technique called the sialoendoscopy which is a minimally invasive method of removing the stones. 

If you suspect that you have the symptoms of salivary gland infection, make sure to visit your dentist today for periodontal therapy. The doors at Vitarelli Dental, Saddle River are always open and our highly qualified dentists are every ready to assist you in beating this dangerous oral condition. 

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