Skip to content

Oral Care

Font Size
A
A
A

Salivary Gland Scan

How It Is Done continued...

During a salivary gland scan, you will sit with the camera placed at your neck. A small amount of the tracer is put in your vein (IV).

The camera will scan for radiation released by the tracer. The pictures are taken every few minutes during the scan. You need to stay very still during the scan so the pictures are not blurry.

You may be asked to suck on a lemon after the first pictures are taken. This causes your salivary glands to release more saliva. Then more pictures are taken.

A salivary gland scan takes about 1 hour.

How It Feels

You will not feel pain during the test. You may feel a quick sting or pinch when the IV is put in your arm. The tracer may make you feel warm and flushed.

You may find it hard to lie still during the scan.

Risks

There is a slight chance of damage to cells or tissue from radiation, including the low levels of radiation used for this test. But the chance of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the benefits of the test.

Allergic reactions to the tracer are very rare.

In some cases, soreness or swelling may develop at the IV site. Apply a moist, warm compress to your arm to relieve these symptoms.

Results

A salivary gland scan uses a special camera and a tracer (radioactive chemical) to take pictures of the salivary glands camera.gif.

The results of a salivary gland scan are usually available within 2 days.

Salivary gland scan
Normal:

The tracer moves evenly through the salivary glands and is released normally into the mouth.

The salivary ducts leading from the salivary glands are not blocked. Saliva is released in response to sucking on a lemon.

Abnormal:

The tracer does not move evenly through the salivary glands. A pocket of fluid (cyst), a pocket of infection (abscess), or a tumor or other growth may be present.

The tracer may not flow normally from the salivary glands into the mouth. This may be caused by a tumor pressing on the duct, a stone in the duct, or inflammation of the duct.

The flow of tracer through the salivary glands is decreased. This may point to a condition, such as Sjögren's syndrome.

The amount of tracer in the salivary glands in front of the ear is greatly increased. This may indicate inflammation or infection of the parotid glands (parotitis).

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

Get the latest Oral Health newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Never
(0)
Good
(1-3)
Better
(4-6)
Best
(7)

You are currently

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.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

close up of woman sticking out tongue
Sores, discoloration, bumps and more.
toothbrushes
10 secrets to a brighter smile.
 
Veneer smile
Before and after.
Woman checking her bite in mirror
Why dental care is important.
 

Woman dissatisfied with granola bar
Slideshow
woman with jaw pain
Quiz
 
eroded front teeth
Slideshow
brushing teeth
Video
 

Variety shades of tea
Slideshow
mouth and dental instruments
Article
 
Closeup of a happy young guy brushing his teeth
Tool
womans smile
Video