Salivary Glands Disorder: The mouth is where the salivary glands are situated. Salivary glands are arranged in three-pair pairs. Directly below and in front of each ear are the parotid glands. The submandibular glands are located below the jaw. Sublingual glands are located on the tongue. There are countless small glands as well. These glands secrete saliva (spit), which is then expelled into the mouth through duct-like structures. Saliva makes food moist, which makes it easier to chew, swallow, and digest food. Because saliva contains antibodies that combat bacteria, it also promotes oral hygiene.
If the salivary glands are damaged or not producing enough saliva, it can affect taste, make chewing and swallowing more difficult, and increase the risk of cavities, tooth loss, and oral infections. Problems that prevent the release or production of saliva can occur when anything inhibits one or more salivary glands. A number of diseases can affect your salivary glands. These may be cancerous tumours or Sjogren’s syndrome. While some ailments get better over time or with antibiotics, others need for more extensive treatments like surgery.
What are problems of the salivary glands?
Your salivary glands create saliva, which helps to digest food, keep your mouth moist and guard against tooth decay. The inner cheek, lip, and mouth linings are home to your relatively modest salivary glands.
Your salivary glands may be impacted by a variety of illnesses. These can be Sjögren’s syndrome or malignant tumours. While some illnesses improve with time or antibiotics, some necessitate more intensive therapies, such as surgery.
Why do my salivary glands make saliva?
Your mouth is also home to several, much smaller salivary glands. Saliva leaves the gland and travels through tubes (ducts) to your mouth. Saliva’s functions in the mouth include:
support for speech
aid in chewing and the beginning of the digestive process.
Guard your teeth.
What causes illness of the salivary glands?
Although the specific cause of stone production is unknown, the following elements may be involved:
Dehydration makes the saliva thicker.
Reduced meal consumption reduces the need for saliva.
The production of saliva can be decreased by antihistamines, blood pressure medications, psychiatric drugs, and other medications.
Difficulties with the ducts
Sialolithiasis is a disorder in which microscopic salivary stones develop in the glands. Calcium makes up the stones, which are known as sialoliths.
While some stones obstruct the ducts, others may not cause any symptoms. There is a partial or total cessation of salivation. There is a chance that the gland will expand and get infected.
A painful salivary gland infection is known as sialadenitis (sigh a la dent I tis). Typically, anaerobic bacteria, Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus, and streptococcus are to blame. Sialadenitis is a frequent illness in older persons with salivary gland stones, but it can also occur in newborns in the first few weeks of life.
If sialadenitis is not adequately treated, it can develop into a serious illness.
The salivary glands may grow as a result of viral diseases like cytomegalovirus, mumps, flu, Coxsackie viruses, and echovirus.
Salivary gland cysts can form as a result of tumours, infections, stones, or trauma. Sometimes issues with early ear development result in newborns being born with parotid gland cysts.
Treatment for Problems with the Salivary Gland
The cause of salivary gland issues determines the course of treatment.
Treatment for stones and other duct blockages frequently starts with procedures like stone removal by hand, warm compresses, or sour candies to stimulate saliva production. Surgery may be necessary to remove the obstruction and/or the afflicted gland if less invasive solutions are unsuccessful in alleviating the issue.
Both benign and malignant tumours must often be removed surgically. Radiation therapy is used to prevent the growth of some benign cancers. Radiation and chemotherapy are sometimes necessary for malignant tumours. Large cysts may also require surgery to be treated.
Medication may be used to treat other issues. For instance, antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Dry mouth can also be treated with medication.
Infections of the salivary glands
Mumps is the most typical infection that affects the salivary glands. Although it can affect other salivary glands, this viral infection most frequently affects the parotid glands. The enlargement of your face is typically caused by the swelling of both parotid glands, although occasionally it is only on one side.
The salivary glands can also be harmed by other viruses. Examples comprise:
- The herpes virus.
- viruses that cause influenza and parainfluenza.
- B19 parvovirus
The salivary glands can less frequently become infected with germs. This occurs more frequently in persons who are otherwise ill and have other issues and is caused by an infection spreading from the mouth. The salivary glands can occasionally be impacted by tuberculosis.
The majority of salivary gland infections either go away on their own or react well to treatment. Some infections could recur. Rare complications do occur.
A salivary gland abscess, recurrent infection, and infection dissemination are all potential side effects.
However, not always, infections of the salivary glands can be avoided. A healthy mouth can help avoid some bacterial infections. Consult an ENT specialist as soon as you notice symptoms of a salivary gland infection if you want to prevent the infection from spreading and causing additional salivary gland issues.
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