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Salivary Gland Infection

Salivary gland infections occur when bacteria invade and infect the normal anatomy of the salivary glands.


When the infection occurs in the parotid glands, painful swelling or fullness may be present in front of the ear.

If the infection is in the submandibular gland, the tenderness may be felt below the jaw or in the neck.


Salivary gland infections are more likely to occur during periods of dehydration, when less saliva is created.

Infections can be both temporary, lasting only a few days, or chronic, lasting for several weeks.


Salivary gland infections are commonly treated with:

  • Increasing water intake
  • Massage
  • Sucking on lemons or hard candy to increase saliva production
  • Antibiotics
  • Surgery may be necessary to drain the infection

For patients with recurrent salivary gland infections, a surgery to remove the salivary gland may be indicated. This is known as a submandibular gland resection or parotidectomy.

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