Symptoms of Salivary Gland Infection and Its Treatment

Salivary Infection

Salivary infection affects 3 pairs of major salivary glands. These pairs include the parotid glands which are located in every cheek just in front of the ears. The infection causes inflammation of these glands which is called parotitis. The other pairs are the two submandibular glands that are found on both sides of the jaw just at the back of the mouth and the two sublingual glands that are below the floor of the mouth.

Infections that happen in these glands are common and patients can experience it several times in their lifetime. One common example is mumps which is a viral infection and often is the reason behind parotitis. Bacterial infections on the other hand occur mostly on patients who do not practice good oral hygiene and those who are dehydrated.

Salivary Infection Symptoms

  • Facial swelling particularly on the areas in front of the ears, on the floor of the mouth and just below the jaw or the upper neck area. This is caused by the building up of fluid in the facial tissues.

  • Increased inability to open the mouth which can also cause difficulties in chewing.

  • Dry mouth or xerostomia. This is characterized by an abnormal decrease in the amounts of saliva in the mouth.

  • Fever. Body temperature will reach 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius.

  • Pain will be experience in the mouth and face when eating. The pain felt can range from dull throbbing pain to an intense stabbing pain on one or both sides of the face and mouth.

  • Impaired taste. This symptom will range from impaired taste to totally losing the ability to taste food and beverages.

  • Pain in swallowing which can be experienced in the upper neck and reaches down to the breastbone area. Burning and squeezing sensations can be felt.

  • The upper neck and the side of the face will be slightly red.

  • Pus drainage into the mouth.

Salivary Gland Infection Treatment

  • There are some cases wherein the condition will not require any treatment.

  • If fever is observed along with pus in the mouth which is indicative of bacterial infection, antibiotics are recommended.

  • When the symptoms are accompanied by an abscess, surgery will be recommended to drain it. Aspiration can also be done.

  • To promote faster healing, patients should practice good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing teeth 2 to 3 times a day can help the healing process and stops the spread of the infection. Cessation of smoking can also help with recovery time.

  • Rinse half a teaspoon of salt that is diluted in 1 cup of warm water. This will help manage the pain and hold the moisture inside the mouth.

  • Drink several glasses of water a day to reduce the swelling and keep the flow of saliva.

  • Another method is to massage the gland as this can help prevent infection.

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