What’s going on behind the scenes?
The major salivary glands are located along both sides of the cheeks (parotid glands) and below the jaw area (submandibular gland). The primary purpose of these glands is to produce saliva to help lubricate food and keep the mouth comfortable.
Reduction of salivary production is most commonly due to side effects of medications, even common such as antihistamines (benadryl, claritin, allegra, zyrtec). This reduction of saliva can lead to formation of salivary stones which cause obstruction of the ducts.
Stone obstruction is usually managed conservatively without any surgical intervention.
Growths can be found in the parotid and submandibular glands as well. Both benign and malignant (cancerous) masses can grow within the salivary tissues.
How Tucson ENT can help
If salivary swelling is recurrent, then please make an appointment for further evaluation for causes like hyperparathyroidism or autoimmune processes.
For growths, imaging with a CT scan and a fine needle aspiration is standard evaluation. This will provide the extent of involvement and a preliminary diagnosis. Ultimately, surgical excision is still the best management if a growth is discovered in the salivary glands.
to learn more about head and neck conditions.