Inflammatory disease of the tissues of the salivary glands, in which there is a violation of their function, is called salivary gland disease. Each person has 3 pairs of large salivary glands. These include the parotid, and submandibular and sublingual salivary glands. In addition, in the oral cavity of a person there are many small glands that produce saliva, such as the labial, buccal, and many others. Stones are formed in the body of the gland or in its excretory duct. They can be completely different sizes – from microscopic to quite large (there are stones the size of a chicken egg).
Causes of stones
Like any other disease, sialolithiasis (the second name for salivary stone disease) does not develop immediately. The intensity of the symptoms increases gradually. The main causes of the disease:
- mechanical irritation of the salivary glands, their injury, for example, by the sharp edges of the teeth during chipping or poorly selected crowns;
- when inflammation occurs, the ducts of the gland are squeezed, the pathological microflora accumulates in a confined space, multiplies, this leads to purulent inflammation. Over time, the stone in the duct increases. Most often, stones are formed in the submandibular and sublingual salivary gland;
- sometimes a person has such an anatomical structure of the salivary glands and their ducts from birth that there is a risk of stones in the gland;
- impaired calcium metabolism leads to sialolithiasis;
- ingress of a foreign body into the duct, for example, bristles from a toothbrush. Bacteria begin to multiply around this foreign body, and a stone gradually forms.
What to look for, or Symptoms of the disease
If you start having salivary disease, the symptoms will be:
- the main symptom is that the face and neck become swollen, as the salivary ducts are blocked, saliva accumulates and edema occurs. If the stone is located in the parotid gland, swelling is visible near the ears;
- it becomes difficult to open the mouth, swallow and chew food, because the cheek muscles are involved in the act of chewing;
- when a large stone appears, it is difficult to even talk;
- pain at the cheeks and in the mouth is also felt at rest;
- since saliva is practically not excreted, a permanent unpleasant sensation of dry mouth occurs in a person;
- possible redness of the face and neck;
- if the disease has already passed into the stage of purulent inflammation, the general condition worsens, the temperature rises, headache and weakness appear;
- when the inflammation of the parotid salivary glands, the earlobe is bulged;
- in addition to dry mouth, there is a growing sense of unpleasant taste on the tongue. This is due to the changed composition of saliva.
How to find out that you have salivary disease
In the pictures you can see what the face of a person who develops salivary stone disease looks like. Photos can not be the only diagnostic method. If you suspect a salivary gland disease, you need as soon as possible to contact either a dentist or a general practitioner. If surgical treatment is required, it will be performed by a dental surgeon.
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An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a doctor. The first reception, he begins with a survey of the patient. The doctor is interested in what the person himself associates with his illness (perhaps he recently had a cold with a cold or had been very stressed for a long time). After an external examination of the area of the gland, the doctor palpates it, already on palpation, he can find a stone, which is the cause of obstructed salivation.
An additional method of research is the x-ray of the salivary gland with the introduction of a contrast solution. This method is called sialography. An iodine-containing drug is injected into the gland duct, thanks to him the doctor will be able to see the structure of the duct, as well as exactly where the stone is located. Sometimes they do ultrasound, its purpose is the same – to find out where the stones are, because they can be very small or deep, the doctor will not be able to palpate such educations. In some cases, computed tomography of the gland is done.
Even if you feel just mild discomfort in the salivary gland, it is better to go to the doctor for a consultation. After all, if you need treatment, it can be done much easier and faster in the early stages than in advanced cases.
How to treat salivary disease
In salivary disease, treatment is necessary in order to remove stones from the salivary duct, as well as restore normal saliva separation. In mild cases, you can do it only with medication, and in difficult situations, surgery is required.
For purulent inflammation in addition to painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, the doctor must prescribe a course of treatment with antibiotics. Antibiotics are injected with the anesthetic into the gland duct. Physiotherapy procedures also have a positive effect. Patients who have found sialolithiasis are prescribed a salivary diet. It consists of eating lemon juice, sauerkraut and other products that stimulate salivation. Such a diet helps strengthen saliva secretion and naturally flush the salivary duct.
If the disease has turned into a chronic form or is not amenable to medical treatment, removal of the stones occurs by surgery. Under local infiltration anesthesia, the doctor probes the duct to determine the location of the stone. After that, he makes an incision along the flow path and removes the stone with the help of a curette spoon. The seams do not overlap, gradually the wall of the duct grows over and a new mouth is formed to expel saliva. In rare cases, it is necessary to complete removal of the salivary gland (extirpation of it).
How to remove stones from the salivary glands at home
In case of salivary stone disease, treatment with folk remedies is possible only after consulting a doctor. He will be able to assess whether this method is suitable for you. A common method of treatment is the treatment of drinking soda. To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of soda in a glass of warm boiled water. In this solution, it is necessary to moisten a cotton swab and wipe the oral cavity with it several times a day.
Effective and rinsing solutions of various medicinal herbs. The doctor will help you choose the appropriate option of herbal. For example, an oral rinse with a mixture of sage, eucalyptus and chamomile is often prescribed.
Aromatherapy can also help with sialolithiasis. The treatment is carried out by inhaling the vapors of the essential oils of eucalyptus, pine needles and other plants. It is important to remember that both aromatherapy and other folk remedies are only treatment aids. But the main effect comes from drug therapy or surgical treatment.
A timely visit to the doctor if you experience discomfort in the salivary glands will help you avoid long-term treatment and the development of complications. The sooner you make an appointment with a dentist, the greater the likelihood that salivation will recover in full.
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