Salivary glands are located in your mouth or throat. Both major and minor salivary glands work to secrete saliva into the mouth. Saliva helps with digestion and swallowing, and also protects your teeth from bacteria. If you are experiencing difficulties with your salivary glands, you may want to be aware of the following disorders:

Sialolithiasis

This condition is also known as salivary duct stones. These stones are masses of minerals that have crystallized in the tubes that saliva passes through. These stones most commonly occur in middle-aged adults and can cause pain in the face, mouth, or neck. Other symptoms include swelling or tenderness in the face, mouth, or neck, and dry mouth or trouble swallowing. Antibiotics can often treat the issue.

Although it is unknown why these stones form in the first place, there are factors that are associated with their development. These include:

  • Taking medications that inhibit the production of saliva by the salivary glands
  • Dehydration
  • Not eating enough, which decreases saliva production

Sialadenitis

This is an infection of the salivary glands that is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. Common symptoms include pain, tenderness, redness, swelling in the infected area, fever, and chills. Sialadenitis commonly affects the elderly or those with chronic dry mouth. Treatment depends on what is causing the infection, though an antibiotic can often clear it up.

Salivary gland problems often come with the side effects of mouth pain, facial swelling, dry mouth, a bad taste in the mouth, and trouble opening the mouth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact Tuscaloosa ENT today to schedule an appointment. One of our physicians will thoroughly examine your symptoms to find the source. It can then be determined which treatment is the best for your individual case.

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