Salivary glands are present in and around mouth and the throat regions. The three major types of salivary glands include parotid glands, submandibular glands and sublingual glands. Apart from these glands, there are many tiny glands located around the lips, buccal mucosa and linings in mouth and throat.
Salivary glands are involved in making saliva which is very important to moisten the mouth, help in digestion, swallowing and in protecting the teeth against bacteria.
The disorders which occur when there is a problem in the salivary glands or the ducts are referred to as parotid disorders or salivary gland disorders. The most common cause for salivary gland problems are blocked salivary glands.
Few of the salivary gland disorders which cause clinical symptoms include:
- SIALOLITHIASIS: This occurs when there are stones formed from the calcium deposits. These stones obstruct the salivary glands which lead to the blocking of salvia flow, partially or completely.
- SIALADENITIS: This is an infectious condition caused by bacteria usually seen in elderly people who have salivary gland stones.
- VIRAL INFECTIONS: Mumps, flu, Coxsackie viruses, echovirus and cytomegalovirus infections could make the salivary glands enlarge.
- CYSTS: These are tiny fluid-filled sacs. Cysts can sometimes be seen in babies by birth, due to ear problems developed before the birth. Also, other types of cysts can form in the major or minor salivary glands in later stages of life. These cysts may result from traumatic injuries, infections, or salivary gland stones or tumors.
- SALIVARY GLAND TUMORS: there are two types of tumors:
- Benign Tumors: These are non-cancerous tumors that occur most commonly in the parotid gland. The benign parotid tumor generally appears as a slow-growing, painless lump at the back of the jaw, just below the earlobe. Risk factors of benign parotid gland tumors include radiation exposure and possibly smoking.
- Malignant Tumors: these are cancerous tumors which are rare. The only known risk factors for malignant salivary gland cancers are Sjogren's syndrome and exposure to radiation.
- SJOGREN'S SYNDROME: This is a chronic autoimmune disease which is caused when the body's immune system target healthy cells in moisture-producing glands, such as the salivary, sweat, and oil glands. This is most commonly seen in women suffering with autoimmune disorder.
CAUSES OF SALIVARY GLAND DISEASE:
- Decreased food intake
- Use of medications such as antihistamines, blood pressure medications, psychiatric medications and other medication that can decrease saliva production.
DIAGNOSIS OF SALIVARY GLAND DISEASE
Salivary gland disorders can be diagnosed by performing the following tests:
- An X-ray, CT scan or MRI can help diagnose thyroid stones or tumors
- Biopsy helps determine cancerous tumor.
- Salivary function tests, eye tests and blood tests are performed to diagnose Sjogren's syndrome
- Sialogram X-ray helps identify problems in the salivary ducts.
TREATMENT OF SALIVARY GLAND DISEASES
Treatment depends upon the type and extent of diseases. Few of the treatment options include:
- Medication: Antibiotics
- Cysts: Cysts in smaller size drain out without any treatment but in case of larger cysts, surgery is required. Ultrasound waves can be used to destroy large stones into small pieces.
- Parotidectomy: this is a surgery performed to remove the parotid gland, in case of a tumor, a chronic infection or a blocked salivary gland.
- Benign tumors are removed by surgery or radiation therapies.
WHY BSR for PAROTID DISORDERS?
BSR is a renowned ENT (ear, nose, and throat) hospital located in Secunderabad with full-time otolaryngologists. BSR staffs the best ENT specialists like Dr. B. Shanker Rao, MS, DLO, FICS and Dr. B. Kalyan Chakravarthy, MS ENT / Head and Neck Surgeon, who are highly qualified with extensive knowledge and experience in problems related to ENT.
The diagnosis and treatment are quick as the hospital is equipped with an in-house laboratory for diagnostic tests. The hospital is equipped with emergency care facility enabling patients to receive immediate consultations and timely treatment. Our ENT physicians are specialized in performing minimally invasive procedures with advanced techniques facilitating the faster and safer post-op recovery.