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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.

What is sialoadenitis?

Sialoadenitis is an inflammation or infection of one or more of your salivary glands. A small stone can block the salivary gland and cause inflammation. Infection may be caused by a virus or bacteria. You can develop sialoadenitis on one or both sides of your face.

What increases my risk for sialoadenitis?

  • Decreased saliva caused by dehydration, radiation, or other medicines
  • Certain medical conditions including gout, HIV, diabetes, or tuberculosis (TB)
  • Bacteria or viruses
  • Trauma to the salivary gland
  • Poor oral care
  • Malnutrition

What are the signs and symptoms of sialoadenitis?

  • Pain and swelling of a salivary gland, especially during or right after eating
  • Bad breath or tooth pain
  • Pus in your mouth
  • Fever

How is sialoadenitis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine you. You may need a blood test to check for infection. An ultrasound or other imaging tests may show stones or any pockets of pus.

How is sialoadenitis treated?

  • Medicines:
    • Antibiotics may be given to treat a bacterial infection.
    • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to give your child and how often to give it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines your child uses to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your child's doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
    • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and 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.
  • Procedures:
    • Removal of one or more stones may be needed if other treatments do not work.
    • An incision and drainage may be needed if there is an abscess (pocket of pus) that does not respond to other treatments.

How can I manage or prevent sialoadenitis?

  • Drink liquids as directed. You may need to drink more liquids than usual. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, tea, soup, juice, or milk.
  • Practice good oral care. Brush your teeth 2 times a day, 1 time in the morning and 1 time in the evening. Use a fluoride toothpaste. Floss your teeth 1 time each day, usually in the evening. Use alcohol-free mouthwash after you floss. Swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out.
  • Keep your mouth moist. Suck on hard candy or chew sugarless gum to get your saliva flowing. Sour and tart flavors such as lemon and orange will help get saliva to flow. This will help keep your mouth moist and help push out a stone blocking your salivary duct.
  • Apply a warm, wet cloth and massage the swollen area as directed. This may help relieve swelling and pain by pushing the pus out of the gland.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • You have trouble breathing or swallowing because of swelling.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have trouble opening your mouth because of swelling.
  • Your salivary gland gets more red and hot or drains more pus.
  • The pain and swelling do not go away within 2 days, or they get worse.
  • Your mouth is very dry.
  • You lose movement on one side of your face.
  • You have questions about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

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