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Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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Conditions We Treat: Salivary Gland Stones

Salivary stones, also called sialolithiasis, are hardened mineral deposits that form in the salivary glands. A stone that blocks the duct of a salivary gland can cause an infection (sialadenitis).

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Salivary Gland Stones: Why Choose Johns Hopkins?

David Eisele examining a patient
  • The Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has been delivering expert patient care and research innovation for over a century.
  • Led by David Eisele, M.D., our multidisciplinary team is ready to help you with both routine and complex salivary gland disorders.
  • Our team is skilled in all aspects of surgical treatment, including minimally invasive sialendoscopy, to address salivary stones.

Salivary Gland Stones: What to Expect

Our experts will take a detailed medical history and perform a head and neck examination, which may include the doctor manually examining the salivary glands inside your mouth to feel for stones.

The best way to detect salivary stones is with a CT scan, which will show the number, size and location of stones — information that is essential to treatment planning.

Good hydration, gland massage and salivary stimulation are recommended before stone removal.

If a salivary stone is causing you discomfort, ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with swelling and pain. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic to address infection.


Stones should be removed to avoid complications such as infection or abscess. In most cases, the surgeon can take the stone out while preserving the salivary gland, but sometimes the surgeon will need to resect (remove) the affected gland. Sialendoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that the surgeon may use as part of your surgical treatment.