Cialadenitis (salivary gland inflammation): causes, clinical presentation and treatment
In humans, there are 3 pairs of salivary glands. The largest ones are salivary and parotid, they are located slightly below the auricles. The sublingual glands, as the name implies, are located below the lower teeth (jaw). And finally, the submandibular are located under the oral mucosa. They all contribute to the development of saliva. Inflammation of the salivary gland (sialadenitis) is caused by bacterial and viral infections. The disease affects young children up to 6 months. Much less often there is inflammation of the sublingual salivary gland and the submandibular than the parotid. This is due to the fact that it is the parotid glands that produce saliva, in which there is a huge amount of mucin. This substance creates a protective barrier and prevents the penetration of dangerous microorganisms from the oral cavity into the ducts.
The incubation period is from two to three weeks.Inflammation of the salivary gland can occur in mild, moderate and severe form. The mild form of mumps is less pronounced, the patient has a slight swelling of the parotid glands, from which saliva is secreted. Body temperature does not rise above 37 degrees. There may be slight pain and tingling. All symptoms disappear on their own in a week. With the average form of the disease, headache, malaise, chills, poor appetite, pain in the joints, muscles, neck and limbs appear. There is dry mouth, fever. The swelling of the ear glands is constantly increasing on both sides. Already on the 5th day, pronounced signs begin to disappear. The severe stage of the disease is characterized by significant swelling of the parotid glands. Problem area is localized to the level of the clavicles. If inflammation of the submaxillary salivary gland joins this, the swelling also extends to the neck. On patient palpation, severe pain is noted, often on this background stomatitis develops. In the case of a complicated form of parotitis, meningitis occurs, sometimes with paralysis of the spinal nerves.Nephritis, orchitis and pancreatitis may also occur.
Causes of salivary gland inflammation
Provocateurs of this disease, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, are viruses and bacteria. Viral infection affects the parotid ducts. Cytomegaly (viral disease) is more susceptible to infants. If the infection has occurred in the womb, then the fetus can have severe damage to the central nervous system and various physical deformities. Bacterial inflammation causes pneumococci, streptococci and staphylococci. With a weakened immunity, infectious and oncological diseases, the development of the inflammatory process in the salivary glands is also possible.
The examination is carried out by a dentist or general practitioner (pediatrician). According to external signs, the doctor reveals a significant increase in the glands, pain in this area and purulent discharge (not always). If there is a suspicion of purulent abscess, then an ultrasound scan and CT scan will be performed.
How is salivary gland inflammation treated?
If the disease is bacterial, antibiotics are prescribed. When an abscess is detected, aspiration or surgery is prescribed.