Salivary Gland Infection- What You Need To Know
A person’s salivary glands are composed of a tube-network. Basically, saliva flows through these tiny tubules or ducts into the mouth. In case, the salivary flow gets hindered due to certain factors, the resulting bacterial growth causes sialadenitis, which is an infectious condition. The condition usually affects the submandibular gland as well as the parotid gland. In most cases, the condition results from the growth of a specific bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus. This infectious disease of the salivary glands mostly affects individuals that are already suffering from certain conditions, including old age, dehydration, xerostomia. Typically, sick individuals, the aged, or people improving after recent surgery have reduced salivary flow. It is possible for a stone in the duct to reduce saliva flow as well. Other conditions like Sjögren's syndrome can also affect salivary flow. Moreover, people going through cancer treatment also have chances of developing this infection.
Signs of Salivary Gland Infection
The condition may result in the development of a painful lump in one of the two cheeks or under the affected person’s chin. The affected individual may also have pus draining through the gland into his/her mouth. If there is a spread of the infection, the affected individual may develop chills, fever and malaise. Sialadenitis tends to improve in a single week provided that appropriate treatment is given. It is important to note that a low-grade infection may turn chronic, which can last weeks or months while getting worse every now and then.
Preventing Salivary Gland Infection
Drinking enough fluids is important for preventing this condition. This is particularly useful after undergoing surgery, when suffering from illness or in old age.
Treatment of Salivary Gland Infection
The initial step towards treating this condition is making sure that an individual has the right amount of fluid in his/her body. A person may require getting fluids intravenously. Later, antibiotics are prescribed for destroying the bacteria. After restoring the fluid balance, the patient should chew on sugarless gum for stimulating the body in order to increase saliva production. In case, the infection doesn’t get better, surgery may be needed for opening as well as draining the gland. If a duct stone is responsible for the condition, surgery will be needed for removing the stone.
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