Sialadenitis is an inflammation of a salivary gland. Salivary glands are the glands that make saliva, which helps with swallowing and digestion and protects your teeth from bacteria. There are three main salivary glands:
Sialadenitis mostly affects the parotid and submandibular glands.
It can be an acute (sudden), chronic (long term), or recurrent condition. It is a rare condition.
Sialadenitis is most common among elderly adults with salivary gland stones, calcified structures that can form inside a salivary gland and block the flow of saliva into the mouth. Sialadenitis can also occur in other age groups, including infants during the first few weeks of life.
Sialadenitis affects men and women of all races equally.
It often happens in people who are sick or recovering from surgery, or people who are dehydrated, malnourished, or immunosuppressed (when your body can’t fight disease).
Sialadenitis is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. Poor oral hygiene can contribute to getting sialadenitis.
Symptoms of sialadenitis include:
If you notice any of these symptoms you should seek medical advice from your doctor. He or she may refer you to an otolaryngologist.
Sialadenitis is usually diagnosed though a physical examination and a history of your symptoms. Sometimes, the glands may need to be examined with a scope.
Sialadenitis is usually first treated with an antibiotic. You will also be advised of other treatments to help with the pain and increased saliva flow. These include drinking lemon juice or sucking hard candy, using warm compresses, and gland massages.
If your sialadenitis has created an abscess, that will need to be drained also.
In rare cases, surgery may also be needed.
Without proper treatment, sialadenitis can develop into a severe infection, especially in elderly or sick people. It is important to see a doctor right away if you have any of the symptoms.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 07/29/2019