Your salivary glands produce up to a quart of saliva every day. These glands can sometimes malfunction. Therefore, understanding the salivary blockage symptoms helps you receive timely treatment.

Location of the Salivary Glands

There are several hundred smaller salivary glands throughout the mouth and throat. Saliva flows into the mouth through small tubes called ducts. However, the three main pairs of salivary glands are:

  • Parotid Glands: These are the two largest salivary glands. One is located on each cheek, over the jaw, in front of the ears. Inflammation of these glands is called parotitis or parotiditis.
  • Submandibular Glands: These two glands are located just below both sides of the lower jaw and send saliva to the floor of the mouth under the tongue.
  • Sublingual Glands: These two glands are located just under the front part of the floor of the mouth.

Salivary Gland Blockage Symptoms

Symptoms of salivary gland blockage can vary from person to person. They depend on the severity of the inflammation and the location of the gland. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain and swelling in the affected area
  • Pus in the mouth
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Difficulty opening the mouth, chewing, or swallowing
  • If a tumor is a reason behind the blockage. The glands might feel a hard, firm lump that is immobile.

One must seek emergency medical help if the symptoms:

  • Are very severe
  • Make it hard to eat, drink, swallow, or breathe
  • Are very painful
  • Don’t improve with drinking fluids, good oral hygiene, and basic treatment.

How Long Does a Blocked Salivary Gland Last?

Sialadenitis is when a salivary gland swells. It can happen due to infections, autoimmune diseases, or salivary gland stones. When a salivary gland is inflamed, it might stop working. Sialadenitis usually clears up in about a week.

Diagnosis of a Blocked Salivary Gland

Anyone with swelling in the salivary gland areas should see a healthcare professional. The doctor will:

  • Take a medical history
  • Examine the swollen area
  • Order lab tests

If a tumor is causing the infection, the doctor performs a fine needle biopsy. This means taking a tissue sample and sending it to a lab. The doctor might also do a biopsy to check for autoimmune conditions like Sjögren’s disease. If there is a blockage in a salivary gland, the doctor can order imaging tests such as:

  • An ultrasound
  • A CT scan
  • An MRI scan
  • A salivary endoscopy (sialoendoscopy), which uses a thin tube with a camera
  • Sialography, which involves injecting a dye that shows up on X-rays.

Treatment for Salivary Gland Blockage

It’s better to consult an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in this case, as they are experts in treating the problems in the head and neck region. The treatment options for salivary gland blockage include:

  • Antibiotics
    Antibiotics are usually the first treatment for sialadenitis. The most common antibiotics for sialadenitis include dicloxacillin, cephalosporin, or clindamycin.
  • Nonsurgical Treatments
    In some cases, your healthcare provider can give you intravenous (IV) medications through a vein in your arm. They will provide saline or dextrose solutions to keep you hydrated and antibiotics to fight the infection.
  • Surgical Treatments
    If sialadenitis doesn’t respond to other treatments, your healthcare provider can recommend surgery. If you have developed an abscess (a pocket of pus), they will drain the infection and remove any stones or other blockages. They can also use an endoscope to examine your salivary gland. This procedure is called a sialendoscopy.

Final Word

The salivary blockage symptoms include fever, chills, pain and swelling in the affected area. We recommend that you don’t take any problem inside your head and neck region lightly. 

Visit Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Vintage Oral Surgery. Our oral health specialists are well-trained in treating diseases in the head and neck area. Call us at (281) 800-8852 for an effective treatment. 

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