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Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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Conditions We Treat: Salivary Gland Infection

Salivary glands can become infected by bacteria (especially strains of Staphylococcus, or staph) or viruses. Salivary gland infection, also called sialadenitis, is most likely to affect one of the parotid salivary glands near the ears on the side of the face, or the submandibular salivary glands under the jaw.

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Salivary Gland Infection: Why Choose Johns Hopkins?

David Eisele examining a patient
  • The Salivary Gland Center offers the latest in diagnosis and treatment for salivary gland infections, and addresses chronic inflammation that can cause the gland to stop functioning if left untreated.
  • Our skilled multidisciplinary team can help you with both commonplace and unusual salivary gland disorders.
  • Salivary gland infection can be the result of a stone or blockage in the gland, such as a stricture (abnormal narrowing). Your doctor will address the underlying condition with conservative measures, medicine or surgical treatment, including minimally invasive procedures.

Salivary Gland Infection: What to Expect

Your Salivary Gland Center doctor will take a detailed medical history and examine your salivary glands manually. If there is evidence of a salivary stone or blockage, imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) or ultrasound will help determine if a blockage is present.

Treatment is essential because salivary infections can get worse. The infection can spread into the deep tissues and bones of the head and neck or cause severe swelling that affects breathing.

Treatment involves hydration to increase salivary flow and gland massage. Your therapy plan may include steps to address any underlying condition such as a salivary stone or tumor that is blocking the gland.