A salivary gland infection develops if a viral or bacterial infection involves the salivary duct or gland. It can occur from diminished flow of saliva which is brought about by blockage or inflammation of the salivary duct.
There are 3 pairs of large salivary glands located on each side of the face. The parotid glands which are the biggest are positioned within each cheek.
What are the causes?
A salivary gland infection is generally brought about by a bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is typically the usual cause.
Other possible causes might include:
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Streptococcus viridans
- Escherichia coli
- Streptococcus pyogenes
These infections typically occur from the diminished production of saliva.
The viruses and other health conditions that can lessen the production of saliva include:
- Influenza A and parainfluenza types I and II
- Salivary stone
- Poor oral hygiene
What are the indications?
The usual signs that might indicate a salivary gland infection include:
- Inability to fully open the mouth
- Continuous foul taste in the mouth
- Dry mouth
- Pain or discomfort when eating or opening the mouth
- Pus in the mouth
- Facial pain
- Mouth pain
- Swelling of the face or neck
- Swelling or redness over the jaw in front of the ears, beneath the jaw or base of the mouth
- Signs of infection such as chills or fever
Management of salivary gland infection
The treatment is based on the seriousness of the infection, root cause and additional signs present.
Antibiotics are generally given for a bacteria infection. In some cases, fine needle aspiration is necessary to drain an abscess.
Some of the home remedies include the following:
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily with lemon to kindle the saliva and ensure that the glands clear
- Application of a warm compress on the gland
- Rinse the mouth using warm salt water
- Suck on sour lemons or a sugar-free lemon candy to promote the flow of saliva and lessen the swelling
In most cases of salivary gland infection, surgery is not necessary. Nevertheless, it is required in recurrent or chronic cases of infections.