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Blocked Salivary Gland Treatment

Blocked Salivary Gland Treatment

If you experience pain, swelling, dryness, or a bad-tasting drainage from the sinus, a blocked salivary gland may be the reason. Mentioned herein are the treatment measures that could be called for.
Palmira S
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
The salivary glands are present on the insides of the cheeks, on and below the tongue, and in the throat. They play an important role in our body. They produce saliva that not only keeps our mouth lubricated but also helps in swallowing and digestion of food. It is also proven that saliva protects our teeth from bacterial attacks.

There are two types of glands: Major and Minor. Saliva from these glands flows into the mouth through small tube-like structures called ducts. These ducts can become blocked due to many reasons and cause hindrances in the free flow of saliva.

It is normally seen that salivary gland stones predominantly develop in people aged 40 and above. Sometimes, newborn babies may also have to face this problem because their oral health cannot be maintained properly, and they also have a weak immune system that is not ready for combating infections.

A blocked salivary gland should never be neglected, and treatment should be resorted to immediately, whether the treatment is traditional or technological.

What Causes a Blocked Salivary Gland?

Dehydration
 causes the saliva to get crystallized and form stones (known as sialoliths) that eventually block the ducts. These stones contain some chemicals, but mainly it is calcium.
Medication, such as antidepressants and drugs for blood pressure and bladder control usually decreases or thickens the saliva that leads to formation of stones.
If a person has undergone throat surgery or any kind of oral surgery in the recent past, or has suffered from a trauma to the face, there are chances of him suffering from a blocked salivary gland.
Viral or bacterial illnesses, such as mumps, flu, HIV, or those caused by the already present mouth microflora, such as Staphylococcus can cause blocked salivary glands.
To make things worst, if the person also suffers from malnutrition, his immune system will be weak to fight the infectious microorganisms that can easily invade this build-up of saliva.

What are the Symptoms of a Blocked Salivary Gland?

Symptoms are usually not prominent until the stone blocks the duct completely and obstructs the flow of saliva. The saliva starts accumulating and forms a lump.
A dry mouth accompanied with difficulty in swallowing is observed.
Generalized pain can be experienced while opening the mouth and eating, and it can become excruciating in the region where the saliva gland is blocked. This pain may subside soon after you have finished your meals.
Localized swelling at the area of blockage and tenderness of the face might also be observed.
Secondary symptoms, such as fever due to infection might also accompany the primary symptoms.
Sometimes, there are cases when the individual has no symptoms to report. The stone, if present, may be detected through the conduction of an X-ray, CT scan, or an ultrasound.

Traditional Methods to Evict a Salivary Gland Stone

The salivary stones can be removed by pressing down the salivary gland. Placing a warm compress behind the ear and below the mandible aids in bobbing the stone, making the eviction process a lot easier. Visit the doctor or dentist to get it done.
The stone can also be flushed out by increasing the flow of saliva. You can stimulate the flow of saliva with the help of citrus or sour candy. Ensure that you amplify your fluid consumption. Drink water religiously to help flush off the stone.
However, in some cases, surgical intervention is a must; especially, when the stone is stubborn and cannot be flushed out with the traditional methods.

Using Technologically Proficient Methods

Salivary gland stones can be broken down by means of ultrasound waves. These broken fragments of stone can easily pass through the duct. This is a painless and noninvasive procedure and can be performed within a brief period.
Another treatment makes use of an endoscope. An endoscope is a tube-like structure that has a camera attached toward the receding end. This tube, when it slides inside the duct, provides a clear view of the region, thereby, capturing images of the stone.
A pair of grabbers are also attached to the end that dives into the duct, 'grabbing' the stone, thus preceding the final eviction.
The treatment methods mentioned above are not painful or invasive and cause minimal amount of discomfort. But, there are chances of secondary infections. Therefore, prevention is better than cure. In order to avoid blocked salivary glands, make sure that you drink enough fluids. Maintain oral hygiene, and make sure that you go for a thorough oral examination after every 3 to 6 months.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.