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Parotid Duct Obstruction


A parotid duct obstruction (PDO) is when your parotid gland is blocked. Your parotid glands are found in your cheeks, over your jaw and in front of your ears. They release saliva into your mouth through the parotid duct. Saliva helps break down food and protect your teeth.



You may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics are used to treat an infection caused by bacteria.
  • NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Keep your mouth moist. Suck on hard or sour candy to get your saliva to flow.
  • Massage the area of your swollen gland. This may help relieve swelling and pain.
  • Apply heat on your swollen gland for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Heat helps decrease pain and swelling.

Prevent another blockage:

  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Brush and floss your teeth. Good dental hygiene may prevent obstruction and infection.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or ENT specialist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your healthcare provider or ENT specialist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • The skin over your parotid gland is red and warm.
  • Your pain and swelling do not go away, or they get worse.
  • Both sides of your face are swollen.
  • Your mouth and eyes are very dry.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have severe pain.
  • You cannot move part of your face.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Parotid Duct Obstruction (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

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