Salivary Gland Infection: Symptoms And Treatment

Do you have flu along with discomfort, swelling, or soreness in the throat? That may be due to the salivary gland infection. In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of this infection. And, we will also discuss ways to prevent and treat it.

Functions of salivary glands

There are three pairs of salivary glands in a human’s oral cavity: parotid, submandibular and sublingual. These glands working in the lower arch and sides of the oral cavity produce saliva to keep the mouth hydrated and promote food digestion. However, some infections can result in the malfunctioning of these glands. It can even cause pain. At first, a salivary gland infection may just be similar to sore throat and fever.

Risk factors

According to the NIH, several risk factors are associated with salivary gland infections. You may have heard about Mumps, which is an acute viral disease resulting in fever. This condition affects parotid glands. Risk factors for salivary gland infections include:

  • Dehydration
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Blocked salivary ducts

Signs and symptoms of salivary gland infections

Salivary gland infections can lead to some annoying and painful symptoms, including:

  • Bad taste or odor in the mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Discomfort in the mouth, face, or throat, particularly when eating your foods
  • Pain the neck or face
  • Fever and chills

If you notice these symptoms, contact your dentist immediately for an appointment. Not getting a timely treatment can cause worsening of symptoms.

Treatment

If the problem is due to a bacterial infection, your doctor or dentist will prescribe antibiotics. If it is due to an abscess, the dentist will recommend surgical drainage of pus. You have to make sure that you go to a qualified healthcare provider to get the treatment for salivary gland infections.

The treatment will not provide instant relief from salivary gland infections. You will have to wait for the symptoms to subside completely. You can reduce pain by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or applying heat compresses to the area of pain. Taking over-the-counter pain medication may also help, but you have to get its approval from your healthcare provider.

Preventing infections

Most oral infections occur due to the presence of harmful bacterial. Adopting a robust and good oral care routine can help you steer clear of most of those infections. First off, you have to make sure that you brush your teeth twice every day. Brushing your teeth removed harmful bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay, gingivitis, and other infections. Make sure to floss between your teeth to clean the areas where the toothbrush’s bristles cannot reach. For added protection, use an antiseptic mouthwash. It will kill harmful germs in your mouth.

If you a tobacco user, you should know that you are more susceptible to having oral infections. Smoking or using tobacco can affect blood flow in your mouth, hampering your oral cavity’s ability to fight infections. Similarly, drinking alcohol can have a severe impact on your oral and overall health. Be sure to stay away from all unhealthy habits.