Salivary Gland Diseases Specialist

ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA

Otolaryngologists & Allergy Specialists located in McKees Rocks, Seven Fields, Sewickley, & Vanport Township, PA

Salivary gland diseases generally cause two symptoms: dry mouth and painful, swollen lumps. The experienced team at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA offer comprehensive care for salivary gland diseases, most of which won’t clear up without treatment. If you have painful masses in your neck, cheeks, jaw, or mouth, call the office in Sewickley, Beaver/Vanport Township, Seven Fields, or Ohio Valley in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, or book an appointment online today.

Salivary Gland Diseases Q & A

What should I know about salivary glands?

Salivary glands produce saliva, which helps you swallow and protects against dental decay. Saliva also contains digestive enzymes and antimicrobial substances that fight pathogens entering through your mouth.

You have hundreds of small salivary glands throughout your mouth and throat, but you only have three pairs of major salivary glands: the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. When a salivary gland disease appears, it strikes the major glands.

What type of salivary gland disease might I develop?

Common salivary gland problems include:

Dry mouth

Dry mouth develops when the salivary glands fail to produce enough saliva. Autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus cause dry mouth. The condition is also a side effect of medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, sedatives, and Antiparkinson drugs.

Salivary gland stones

When you don’t drink enough fluids, or you have decreased saliva production, the salt in saliva can form into hard stones. The stones can block the duct that carries saliva from the gland to your mouth. The blockage forces saliva to build up, which causes a swollen, painful salivary gland.

Infections and swelling

You may develop a bacterial or viral infection along with swelling.

Salivary gland cysts

Cysts may develop due to infections, stones, and trauma to the gland.

Salivary gland tumors

Most salivary gland tumors are benign (noncancerous). Though you can develop salivary gland cancer, it’s rare and only accounts for 1% of all cancers.

What symptoms indicate a salivary gland disease?

In addition to being a salivary gland condition, dry mouth is also a symptom of some salivary gland diseases. You may also develop one or more of the following:

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Pain when eating
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Trouble opening your mouth
  • Lump in your cheek, jaw, mouth, or neck
  • Pain in your cheek, jaw, neck, or ear
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of your face

Stones cause a painful lump in your cheek or under your tongue or chin.

How are salivary gland diseases treated?

Your treatment at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA is customized for your specific salivary gland disease. However, a few examples include:

  • Extra fluids
  • Antibiotics
  • Dry mouth medications
  • Warm compresses
  • Chewing sour candy
  • Ultrasound to shatter stones
  • Surgery

You may need surgery to drain the gland, remove cysts, or take out the gland. If you have salivary gland cancer, you may need radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

If you develop pain or a lump in your cheek, jaw, neck, or mouth, call ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA or request an appointment online today.