SALIVARY GLAND DISORDERS

Salivary gland disorders

      Saliva:

    •  Produced by major and minor salivary glands that empty into the mouth.
    •  Protects teeth from decay and initiated digestion.

    Causes:

  •  Blockage of the ducts of the salivary glands due to stones (sialolithiasis) resulting in partial or complete obstruction of salivary flow
  •  Painful lump below the jaw that increases in size following meals
  •  You may be prescribed antibiotics in this blockage has resulted in infection of the gland. Suckling lime helps relieve the symptoms.
  •  If the condition persists and there is limited relief with medication you may be advised an X-Ray or an MRI to identify a stone
  •  You may be advised surgical removal of the gland if the stone is deep and cannot be teased out of the duct.
  •  Infection of the salivary gland. May occur due to stones blocking the ducts of the gland or because of bacterial infection or viral (e.g. mumps)
  •  Increase in size of the salivary gland involved
  •  You may experience pus entering your mouth
  •  You may have fever.
  •   You may be prescribed a course of antibiotics and advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids
  •  Application of heat on the inflamed gland may allow some relief
  •  In case of a viral infection, such as mumps, both parotid glands are involved.
  •  Presence of cysts in the gland

    Autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome:

  •  Dry mouth
  •  Dry eyes
  •  Tooth decay
  •  Poor dental hygiene
  •  Joint pains and swelling
  •  Tumours
  •  Cancerous
  •  Common in the parotid gland

    Patient may have:

  •  Lump or swelling on or near the jaw
  •  Numbness of the face or deviation
  •  Pain
  •  Trouble opening the mouth
  •  Respiratory rate
  •  Oxygen levels in your blood
  •  Diagnosis confirmed with imaging (X-Ray/MRI/CT) along with biopsy
  •  Further management depends on the stage of disease.

    Factors leading to cancers in the salivary glands:

  •  Old age
  •  Radiation exposure while treating head and neck tumours
  •  Exposure to certain substances at the work place
  •  Non-cancerous such as pleomorphic adenoma
  •  Benign tumour of the salivary gland
  •  Most commonly involved gland is the parotid gland
  •  Slow growing painless mass, may cause facial deviation due to compression of the nerve supplying muscles of facial expression.
  •  May rarely convert to cancerous in nature
  •  More common in females between 4th and 6th decade
  •  Surgical resection is the treatment of choice