SIGNS OF SALIVARY GLAND OBSTRUCTION AND/OR INFECTION

If the salivary glands become blocked, either by a stone or thickened mucous, the gland will usually swell as it tries to secrete liquid.

This is most common around times when a patient attempts to eat because the gland is stimulated to secrete saliva at this times.

This can cause a lump just in front of or underneath the ear if it is the parotid gland, or a lump underneath the jaw if the submandibular gland is blocked.

If the obstruction is partial, the gland may gradually reduce in size after you are done eating and may resolve more rapidly with gentle massage of the swelling.

If there is an infection in the gland, the gland may become excessively tender and there may be pus coming from the duct.

If the gland becomes obstructed from the prolonged period of time, of if it becomes obstructed repeatedly, it can cause dilation of the small sacks within the substance of the gland that are more prone to accumulate mucous. This dilation of the tubules of the salivary gland is called “sialoectasis”. If this occurs, it can predispose to recurring obstruction and possibly infection of the salivary glands.

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