A salivary gland stone is a mass formed by mineral salts from the salivary juice inside the salivary gland. Normally people can drink more water to avoid getting salivary gland stones. Once salivary gland stones start to accumulate in the salivary gland, it is recommended to visit a doctor for a proper treatment.
A salivary gland stone refers to a compact and hard mass usually formed by mineral salts in the salivary gland or its ducts. It may hinder the flow of the saliva and will therefore lead to pain and swelling of the affected gland. Furthermore, this condition can trigger a bacterial infection of the salivary gland.
The salivary glands produce saliva in the mouth. However, the salivary gland stones can form because there are many different components, such as mineral salts, in saliva, which can precipitate and subsequently form a hard, chalk-like mass and block the gland. When the salivary gland is blocked, it will cause the saliva to accumulate and then result in swelling of the gland, which can be painful. Furthermore, it may lead to inflammation, especially if the gland gets infected with bacteria. There are three different kinds of salivary glands: 1) parotid glands, 2) submandibular glands, and 3) sublingual glands. Salivary gland stones occur more often in the submandibular and parotid glands. Promoting factors for the development of salivary stones are dehydration, high blood level of calcium and inflammatory diseases of the salivary gland. People with salivary gland stones often have symptoms such as problems with opening the mouth or swallowing, dry mouth, pain in the mouth or face, and swelling of the neck or face.
Normally people can drink more water to avoid getting salivary gland stones. Once salivary gland stones start to accumulate in the salivary gland, treatment is mainly aimed at the removal of these stones. The treatment may include 1) massaging the gland and attempting to manually move the stone out of the gland by pushing it out, 2) surgery in order to remove the salivary stones. Nowadays, this can be done with a minimally invasive endoscopy of the salivary gland, 3) use of shock wave lithotripsy. Shock waves are able to break the salivary stones. If the salivary gland becomes infected due to the obstruction, then medication such as antibiotics and surgery to drain or even remove the affected glands may be considered.
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