Parotid, Submandibular & Sublingual Saliva Gland Surgery Removal in Murray, UT

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Saliva is a watery substance that is secreted by the salivary glands. The salivary glands are part of the upper digestive system. The salivary glands discharge saliva in the mouth though small tubes called ducts. Saliva helps maintain good oral health and aids in chewing and food digestion. There are three main salivary glands; the parotid, submandibular gland (or the submaxillary gland) and the sublingual glands.

Types of Salivary Glands in Humans

1. Parotid glands are the largest of all your salivary glands and produce 25% of the saliva that drains into the mouth near the upper teeth.
2. The submandibular glands are the second largest and produce 70% of the saliva that drains into the mouth from under the tongue.
3. Sublingual glands are the smallest and produce 5% of the saliva that drains in the floor of the mouth.

Infections & Other Problems with Salivary Glands

When problems come up with the salivary glands it’s due to the ducts becoming blocked and preventing saliva from draining. These problems can be due to different reasons that can be treated medically and surgically.
1. Sialolithiasis is a condition where tiny salivary stones form in the glands. These stones are made of calcium and are called sialoliths and while some won’t cause any problems, some will block the ducts and saliva can be partially blocked or completely blocked. This can cause the gland to enlarge and lead to infection.
2. Sialadenitis is a painful infection of a salivary gland that can be caused by bacteria and is common with elderly adults.
3. Viral infections like the mumps or the flu can cause salivary glands to become enlarged.
4. Cysts can form after an infection, stones, tumors or an injury. These cysts can cause problems.
5. Tumors can grow on the salivary glands and most are located on the parotid gland.

Salivary Gland Removal Surgery

Symptoms of salivary gland problems typically occur when eating. Saliva production will start, but can’t exit the ductal system. This will lead to swelling of the gland affected, significant pain and sometimes infection. If non-surgical methods to correct issues with salivary glands fail, then surgery may be necessary. It’s reassuring to know that removing the salivary gland does not produce a dry mouth, it’s the radiation therapy that can cause some of the unpleasant symptoms associated with a reduction in saliva flow. The removal of the parotid gland is usually because of a tumor, a chronic infection or a blocked salivary gland. Most times they are not cancerous and the amount of tissue that needs to be removed will be determined during the operation. Removal of the submandibular gland is done when there are chronic infections, stones and tumors. These gland tumors are often malignant and the whole gland will need to be removed. Facial nerves lay close to this gland and will be positioned away during the surgery and a two-inch incision is made below the lower jaw. If removal of the sublingual gland is necessary, the incision will be made through the mouth with no incision on the face or neck.

Salivary Gland Care

As a good health measure, it’s important to drink lots of liquids every day because dehydration is a risk factor for salivary gland disease. If you’re experiencing symptoms related to your salivary glands you should seek help from the professionals at ENT Specialists.

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