What is it?

The most common salivary gland diseases are infections, sialolithiases and mucoceles. Infections, acute or chronic, are usually caused by bacteria or viruses, salivary duct obstruction, cancer therapy or an autoimmune disease. Infections can affect all the salivary glands and can occur at any age. Saliolithiasis is a condition where a calcified mass forms in a salivary gland. It is more common in the submandibular gland. This is caused usually due to retention of saliva. Typically, saliolithiasis is characterized also by pain and swelling. Mucoceles are a benign, mucus- containing cystic lesion and can be divided into mucus escape reaction, mucus retention cysts and ranulas. Mucoceles occur usually due to rupture of salivary glands or by blockage of a salivary duct.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Sialolithiasis
- Submandibular sialolithiasis
- Sialadenitis
- Parotitis
- Salivary Gland Fistula
- Salivary Gland Mucocele
- Mucus-containing cystic lesion of salivary gland
- Parotid cyst
- Extravasation cyst of salivary gland
- Ranula
- Salivary extravasation cyst
- Salivary ranula
- Salivary Gland Hypertrophy
- Salivary Gland Abscess
- Salivary Gland Atrophy

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of sialolithiases include a painful lump and pain that increases while eating. Salivary gland infection symptoms may include lump in the cheek or under the chin, pus that drains into the mouth, strong smelling pus and fever. Mucoceles symptoms may include difficulty eating, speaking and swallowing as well as mucus.


Diagnosis of salivary gland diseases is sometimes very straightforward with visible signs in physical examination and medical history. In some cases, a dental X-ray may be done, or even a CT or an MRI tests.Also, a biopsy to remove salivary gland tissue can aid in diagnosis, particularly if your doctor suspects you may have an autoimmune disorder that affects your salivary glands.


Treatment of salivary gland diseases varies and depends on the disease. Antibiotics can treat bacterial infections. For saliolithiasis the classic treatment is antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents and sometimes a marsupialization is needed. Most cases of mucoceles do not require any treatment as the cyst ruptures on its own usually after three to six weeks.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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