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Sialoadenitis: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Publisher/Author : Pacific Cross

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)

Sialoadenitis is an inflammation or infection of one or more of your salivary glands. A small stone can block the salivary gland and cause inflammation. Infection may be caused by a virus or bacteria. You can develop sialoadenitis on one or both sides of your face. You may have sialoadenitis once, or it may come back and last a long time.

How common is Sialoadenitis?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of Sialoadenitis?

Fever, chills, and unilateral pain and swelling develop. The gland is firm and diffusely tender, with erythema and edema of the overlying skin. Pus can often be expressed from the duct by compressing the affected gland and should be cultured. Focal enlargement may indicate an abscess.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes Sialoadenitis?

Sialoadenitis usually occurs after decreased flow of saliva (hyposecretion) or duct obstruction, but may develop without an obvious cause. Saliva flow can be reduced in people who are sick or recovering from surgery, or people who are dehydrated, malnourished, or immunosuppressed.

A stone or a kink in the salivary duct can also diminish saliva flow, as can certain medications (such as antihistamines, diuretics, psychiatric medications, beta-blockers, or barbiturates). It often occurs in chronically ill people with dry mouth (xerostomia), people with Sjogren syndrome, and in those who have had radiation therapy to the oral cavity.

Sialoadenitis is most commonly due to bacterial infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Other bacteria which can cause the infections include include streptococci, coliforms, and various anaerobic bacteria. Although less common than bacteria, several viruses have also been implicated in sialoadenitis. These include the mumps virus, HIV, coxsackievirus, parainfluenza types I and II, influenza A, and herpes.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for Sialoadenitis?

There are many risk factors for Sialoadenitis, such as:

  • Old age
  • Chronic disease (especially patients with dry mouth or dehydration)

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is Sialoadenitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis is usually made by clinical exam but a CT scan, MRI scan or ultrasound may be done if the doctor suspects an abscess or to look for stones.

How is Sialoadenitis treated?

The treatment of sialoadenitis depends on what type of microbe is causing the infection. If the infection is bacterial, an antibiotic effective against whichever bacteria is present will be the treatment of choice. If the infection is due to a virus, such as herpes, treatment is usually symptomatic but may include antiviral medications.

In addition, since sialoadenitis usually occurs after decreased flow of saliva (hyposecretion), patients are usually advised to drink plenty of fluids and eat or drink things that trigger saliva flow (such as lemon juice or hard candy).

Warm compresses, and gland massage may also be helpful if the flow is obstructed in some way. Good oral hygiene are also important. Occasionally an abscess may form which needs to be drained especially if it proves resistant to antibiotics (or antiviral medication).

In rare cases of chronic or relapsing sialoadenitis, surgery may be needed to remove part or all of the gland. This is more common when there is an underlying condition which is causing the hyposecretion.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage Sialoadenitis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with Sialoadenitis:

  • Drinking liquids: Adults should drink about 9 to 13 cups of liquid each day. One cup is 8 ounces. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Coffee, soup, and fruit may be counted in your daily liquid amount. Ask your caregiver how much liquid you should drink each day.
  • Keep your mouth moist: Suck on hard candy or chew sugarless gum to get your saliva flowing. Sour and tart flavors such as lemon and orange will help get saliva to flow. This will help keep your mouth moist and help push out a stone blocking your salivary duct.
  • Rinse your mouth: Use water or mouthwash to clean out pus that may be draining into your mouth.
  • Massage your jaw: Massage the area of your swollen gland. This may help relieve swelling and pain by pushing the pus out of the gland.
  • Apply heat: Place a warm, moist cloth on the area.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you. Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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