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Salivary Gland Problems

(continued)

Causes of Salivary Gland Problems continued...

Tumors. Several different types of tumors can affect the salivary glands. They can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). The two most common tumors are pleomorphic adenomas and Warthin's tumor.

Pleomorphic adenomas most commonly affect the parotid glands, but can also affect the submandibular gland and minor salivary glands. The tumor is usually painless and grows slowly. Pleomorphic adenomas are benign (noncancerous) and are more common in women than men.

Warthin's tumor is also benign and affects the parotid gland. Warthin's tumor can grow on both sides of the face and affects more men than women.

While most salivary gland tumors are benign, some can be cancerous. Malignant tumors include mucoepidermoid carcinoma, adenocystic carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, low-grade polymorphous adenocarcinoma, and malignant mixed tumor.

Sjögren's syndrome. This is a chronic autoimmune disease in which cells of a person's immune system attack the salivary and other moisture-producing glands, leading to dry mouth and eyes.

About half of people with Sjögren's syndrome also have enlargement of the salivary glands on both sides of the mouth, which is usually painless.

Treatment for Salivary Gland Problems

Treatment for salivary gland problems depends on the cause.

For stones and other blockages of the ducts, treatment often begins with measures such as manual removal of stones, warm compresses, or sour candies to increase the flow of saliva. If simple measures don't relieve the problem, surgery may be required to remove the blockage and/or the affected gland.

Surgery is usually required to remove benign and malignant tumors. Some benign tumors are treated with radiation to keep them from coming back. Some cancerous tumors require radiation and chemotherapy. Surgery may also be needed to treat large cysts.

Other problems may be treated with medications. For example, bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Medications can also be prescribed for dry mouth.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Steve Drescher, DDS on April 14, 2013
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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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