BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuSalivary gland infectionsParotitis; SialadenitisSalivary gland infections affect the glands that produce spit (saliva). The infection may be due to bacteria or viruses.There are 3 pairs of major salivary glands: Parotid glands -- These are the two largest glands. One is located in each cheek over the jaw in front of the ears. Inflammation of one or more of these glands is called parotitis, or parotiditis. Submandibular glands -- These two glands are located just under both sides of the lower jaw and carry saliva up to the floor of the mouth under the tongue. Sublingual glands -- These two glands are located just under the front most area of the floor of the mouth.All of the salivary glands empty saliva into the mouth. The saliva enters the mouth through ducts that open into the mouth in different places. Causes Salivary gland infections are somewhat common, and they can return in some people. Viral infections, such as mumps, often affect the salivary glands. (Mumps most often involves the parotid salivary gland). There are fewer cases today because of the widespread use of the MMR vaccine. MumpsMumps is a contagious disease that leads to painful swelling of the salivary glands. The salivary glands produce saliva, a liquid that moistens food...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Bacterial infections are most often the result of a: Blockage from salivary duct stones Salivary duct stonesSalivary duct stones are deposits of minerals in the ducts that drain the salivary glands. Salivary duct stones are a type of salivary gland disorde...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Poor cleanliness in the mouth (oral hygiene) Oral hygieneTooth decay and gum disease are caused by plaque, a sticky combination of bacteria and food. Plaque begins to build up on teeth within a few minutes...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Low amounts of water in the body, most often while in the hospital Smoking Chronic illness Autoimmune diseases Symptoms Symptoms include:Abnormal tastes, foul tastes Abnormal tastesTaste impairment means there is a problem with your sense of taste. Problems range from distorted taste to a complete loss of the sense of taste. A...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Decreased ability to open the mouth Dry mouth Fever FeverFever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness. A child has a fever when the temperature is at or abov...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Mouth or facial "squeezing" pain, especially when eating Facial "squeezing" painFace pain may be dull and throbbing or an intense, stabbing discomfort in the face or forehead. It can occur in one or both sides.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Redness over the side of the face or the upper neck Swelling of the face (particularly in front of the ears, below the jaw, or on the floor of the mouth)Swelling of the faceFacial swelling is the buildup of fluid in the tissues of the face. Swelling may also affect the neck and upper arms.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests Your health care provider or dentist will do an exam to look for enlarged glands. You may also have pus that drains into the mouth. The gland is often painful.A CT scan, MRI scan, or ultrasound may be done if the provider suspects an abscess, or to look for stones.AbscessA tooth abscess is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Your provider may suggest a mumps blood test if multiple glands are involved.A bacterial culture can help identify the organism causing the problem. Treatment In some cases, no treatment is needed. Treatment from your provider may include:Antibiotics if you have a fever or pus drainage, or if the infection is caused by bacteria. Antibiotics are not useful against viral infections. Surgery or aspiration to drain an abscess if you have one. AspirationAspiration means to draw in or out using a sucking motion. It has two meanings:Breathing in a foreign object (sucking food into the airway). A medic...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article A new technique, called sialendoscopy, uses a very small camera and instruments to diagnose and treat infections and other problems in the salivary glands. Self-care steps you can take at home to help with recovery include:Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth and floss well at least twice a day. This may help with healing and prevent an infection from spreading. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water rinses (one half teaspoon or 3 grams of salt in 1 cup or 240 milliliters of water) to ease pain and keep the mouth moist. To speed up healing, stop smoking if you are a smoker. Drink lots of water and use sugar-free lemon drops to increase the flow of saliva and reduce swelling. Massaging the gland with heat. Using warm compresses on the inflamed gland. Outlook (Prognosis) Most salivary gland infections go away on their own or are cured with treatment. Some infections will return. Complications are not common. Possible Complications Complications may include:Abscess of salivary gland Return of infection Spread of infection (cellulitis, Ludwig angina) CellulitisCellulitis is a common skin infection caused by bacteria. It affects the middle layer of the skin (dermis) and the tissues below. Sometimes, muscle...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Ludwig anginaLudwig angina is an infection of the floor of the mouth under the tongue. It is due to a bacterial infection of the teeth or jaw.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if you have:Symptoms of a salivary gland infection Salivary gland infection and symptoms get worseGet medical help right away if you have:High fever Trouble breathing Swallowing problems Prevention In many cases, salivary gland infections can't be prevented. Good oral hygiene may prevent some cases of bacterial infection.Open ReferencesReferencesElluru RG. Physiology of the salivary glands. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 81.Jackson NM, Mitchell JL, Walvekar RR. Inflammatory disorders of the salivary glands. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 83.AllVideoImagesTogHead and neck glands - illustration There are several pairs of salivary glands in different locations a major pair in front of the ears (parotid glands); two major pairs on the floor of the mouth (sublingual and submaxillary glands); and several minor pairs within the lips, cheeks, and tongue.Head and neck glandsillustrationHead and neck glands - illustration There are several pairs of salivary glands in different locations a major pair in front of the ears (parotid glands); two major pairs on the floor of the mouth (sublingual and submaxillary glands); and several minor pairs within the lips, cheeks, and tongue.Head and neck glandsillustrationRelated Information Mumps(Condition)Salivary duct stones(Condition)Dental care - adult(Special Topic)Abscess(Condition)Cellulitis(Condition)Ludwig angina(Condition)Periodontal Disease(In-Depth) Review Date: 8/31/2021 Reviewed By: Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.