ENT Austin | Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor Austin Tx | Laurence Chu MD
Page: Treating Infections

Treating Infection of Salivary Gland

In order to treat infection in the salivary gland it is important to do all of the things described above to reduce obstruction and to flush out the salivary gland.

In addition, you will be instructed to take antibiotics to help kill the bacteria as well. Also note that it is especially important to perform the hot packs if there is infection in the gland.

Occasionally, if the infection is severe, you will be given steroid medication for a few days (such as Prednisone) to help get the swelling down more rapidly. Read the instructions for these medications carefully.

Prognosis (what you can expect in the future)

 While you may only have a single episode of obstruction or infection and never have a problem again, individuals who have had obstruction of the salivary glands tend to be predisposed to have this recur in the future. Although it may not occur, it is not uncommon for an individual who has had one episode of obstruction to have an occasional episode of recurrent obstruction and/or infection of the salivary glands.

If this can be managed adequately with the conservative methods described above, then usually that is the treatment of choice.

If the obstruction of infections become too severe or too frequent to manage in that fashion, then it is usually necessary to remove the affected salivary gland. If it is necessary to remove the parotid gland this can be done using an incision just in front of the ear as is made for a facelift.

However, it is necessary to dissect the gland away from the facial nerve. (the nerve that controls the motion of the face) and so it is a somewhat meticulous procedure.

If the submandibular gland needs to be removed then it can be done using an incision that is hidden in a crease on the neck.

A question many people have about removing the salivary gland is “Can the person continue to make enough saliva if a salivary gland is removed”?

The answer is yes, if only one salivary gland is removed the rest of the salivary glands are more than adequate to provide adequate saliva.

Fortunately, in the majority of cases salivary gland disease can be managed with repeated use of the above conservative methods as well as precautions to avoid dehydration before the glands become obstructed or infected.

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