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Salivary Gland Disorders

ENT Specialists

ENTs and Allergy Clinics located in Salt Lake City, UT; Murray, UT; Tooele, UT; Draper, UT; & West Jordan, UT

One of the first signs of a salivary gland disorder is a dry mouth, but you may also develop painful lumps or other symptoms depending on the cause of the problem. The highly qualified team at ENT Specialists in Salt Lake City, Murray, Draper and Tooele, Utah, has years of experience diagnosing and treating salivary gland disorders and restoring comfort to your mouth. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices or use the online booking feature today.

Salivary Gland Disorders Q & A

What should I know about salivary glands?

The salivary glands in your mouth produce and release saliva. Saliva helps you swallow, protects against dental cavities, and is your first line of defense against harmful pathogens.

You have hundreds of tiny salivary glands located throughout your mouth and throat. But you only have three pairs of major salivary glands, the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. Salivary gland disorders strike one of the three major glands.

What causes salivary gland disorders?

Salivary gland disorders may develop due to an underlying health problem or an inflammatory, bacterial, or viral condition. You can also develop benign or cancerous salivary gland tumors.

Blocked ducts are a common problem. When a duct is blocked, saliva can’t drain into your mouth. Conditions responsible for blocked ducts include:

  • Sialolithiasis (tiny stone in the glands)
  • Sialadenitis (infected salivary gland)
  • Viral infections (flu and mumps)
  • Cysts (due to injuries, infections, and tumors)

Another cause of salivary gland disease is Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks and destroys the salivary glands.

What symptoms occur due to salivary gland disease?

Blocked glands cause a dry mouth because the saliva can’t flow into your mouth. They also cause a painful lump under your tongue or in your cheek or chin. A blocked gland may cause pain when eating and you may experience a foul taste in your mouth.

If a viral infection is the cause of your salivary gland problem, you may develop a fever, muscle aches, and joint pain. And if the virus settles in your parotid glands, a condition called the mumps, your cheeks become swollen.

Sjögren’s syndrome results in a dry mouth, mouth sores, and recurrent salivary gland infections.

Tumors cause a lump that’s usually visible in your cheeks, tongue, neck, or the roof of your mouth. Benign tumors are usually painless, while malignant tumors often cause discomfort.

How are salivary gland disorders treated?

ENT Specialists recommends the best treatment based on the cause of your salivary gland disorder.

Small stones often pass out of the duct, but large stones typically require surgery to remove the salivary gland. Likewise, a small cyst may drain on its own, but ENT Specialists may need to perform surgery to treat a large cyst.

The team at ENT Specialists surgically removes benign and malignant tumors whenever possible. They treat inoperable tumors with radiation or chemotherapy.

If you develop a lump or pain in your mouth, call ENT Specialists or schedule an appointment online.