Salivary glands produce saliva, which helps in digestion, keeps your mouth moist, and supports healthy teeth. Under and behind your jaw, are three pairs of large salivary glands. They consist of:
There are numerous other microscopic salivary glands in your lips, cheeks, mouth, and throat.
The salivary glands may become dysfunctional, or their ducts may be blocked, preventing the flow of saliva. The following are some of the conditions associated with salivary glands:
Treatment options for salivary gland problems depend on the cause.
Treatment for salivary stones and other duct blockages frequently starts with procedures like stone removal, warm compress, or sour candies to stimulate saliva production. Surgery may however become necessary if conservative measures don’t relieve the problem.
Both benign and malignant tumors must often be removed surgically. Radiation therapy is used to prevent the growth of some benign cancers. Some malignant tumors require radiation and chemotherapy. Large cysts may also require surgery to be treated.
Other salivary gland diseases can be treated with medication, for instance, bacterial infections which are treated with antibiotics. A dry mouth can also be treated with medication.
The treatment of salivary gland diseases depends on the specific condition and its severity. Treatment options may include:
Not all salivary gland tumors require surgery. The treatment approach depends on factors such as the type of tumor, its location, size, and whether it is benign or malignant. Some smaller and benign tumors may be monitored over time without immediate surgery, while others may require surgical removal. Malignant tumors often require surgery, along with additional treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
The outcome of treatment for salivary gland diseases depends on the specific condition and its severity. While some conditions, such as acute infections, may be cured with appropriate treatment, others, such as chronic salivary gland dysfunction or recurrent stone formation, may require ongoing management to control symptoms and prevent complications. Malignant salivary gland tumors may require a combination of treatments and ongoing monitoring to ensure the best possible outcome.