What Is Sialadenitis?

Sialadenitis refers to inflammation of a salivary gland. Salivary glands produce saliva, which aids in swallowing, digestion, and minimizing bacteria in the mouth. Sialadenitis can affect the parotid glands (located in the right and left cheeks in front of the ear), submandibular glands (under the right and left sides of the lower jaw), and sublingual glands (under the tongue).

What Causes Sialadenitis?

Sialadenitis may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Blockage of a salivary gland by thick saliva or a stone, which can prevent the flow of saliva into the mouth, may also be responsible.

What May I Experience With Sialadenitis?

You may experience the following symptoms with sialadenitis:

  • Enlargement, tenderness, and/or redness over one or more salivary glands
  • Swelling in the cheek and/or neck region
  • Change in taste or gritty feeling in the mouth
  • Decreased saliva production
  • Pain and/or swelling while eating or chewing
  • Dry mouth (also called xerostomia)
  • Fever (often suggesting an infection)

How Is Sialadenitis Treated?

We recommend the following for cases of sialadenitis:

  • Adequate hydration (we recommend an 8-ounce glass of water eight times per day)
  • Saliva-stimulating substances (also called sialagogues) such as chewing gum, sucking candy, or lemon juice or wedges
  • Massaging the area from back to front
  • Applying warm compresses to the affected area

If your sialadenitis is the result of a bacterial infection, you may be prescribed an antibiotic, which should be taken as directed.

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