Salivary Gland Inflammation
The reasons for salivary gland inflammation (sialodenitis) are numerous, but they all result in a blockage of saliva passage from the gland (production center) through the salivary gland’s duct & orifice (the exit).
This blockage can be from:
Inflammation around the duct’s orifice from trauma like a cheek bite.
Inflammation of the gland or duct itself from bacteria or viruses.
Physical Obstruction of the saliva flow; commonly stones (sialoliths) and rarely tumors
Increase in saliva viscosity; usually from dehydration and electrolyte imbalances
Treatment & Therapy
All the above reasons for the gland inflammation are treated rather differently.
For initial and more conservative treatment we recommend the following:
Head elevation; do not lay flat.
Warm salt water rinses; vigorously and often (10 times a day)
Anti-Inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Naproxen (Aleve) per bottle instructions, and of course, only if you are not allergic and are normally permitted to take the medications.
Adequate hydration; drink fluids often
Facial Massage; slow but firm
Sour sucking candies. The sour sense produces salivary production and the act of the negative pressure from sucking can draw out the saliva.
Antibiotics (not always, but sometimes, and occasionally intravenously in the hospital setting)
If certain features/symptoms are present or if initial attempts are unsuccessful, treatment may warrant care in the hospital setting and sometimes surgery.
Worrisome features that would require immediate attention in the hospital would include:
Facial Paralysis or weakness
Severe swelling that extends to your eyes or neck
Difficulty Swallowing fluids
Surgery and advanced endoscopic procedures are reserved for for patients with chronic/refractory sialodenitis or those with physical obstructions such as stones or tumors.