(Sialadenitis; Salivary Gland Infection)
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- Bacterial infection due to staphylococcus, streptococcus, or haemophilus
- Viral infection due to mumps or AIDS
A blockage may block saliva flow and lead to a bacterial infection. Causes include:
- Salivary stone in the parotid gland
- Mucus plug in a salivary duct
- Tumor—usually benign
- Sjogren’s syndrome—an autoimmune disease
- Radiation treatment of head and neck cancer can lead to parotid gland inflammation
- Other conditions can cause the parotid glands to become enlarged, but not infected, including:
- Recent surgery
- Increased age
Medical conditions, such as:
- HIV-positive or AIDS
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Use of certain medications
- Poor oral hygiene
- Swelling in front of your ears, below your jaw, or on the floor of your mouth
- Dry mouth
- Strange or foul taste in your mouth
- Pus draining into the mouth
- Mouth or facial pain, especially when you are eating or opening your mouth
- Fever, chills, and other signs of infection
Good Oral Hygiene
- Antibiotics—to control bacterial infections only; not effective for viral infections
- Medications—to treat underlying conditions, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or AIDS
- Anti-inflammatories—to manage swelling and pain
- Get treatment for infections.
- Get regular dental care.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Receive the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination if you have not yet been vaccinated
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
National Library of Medicine http://www.nlm.nih.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Acute suppurative parotitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated June 21, 2010. Accessed June 6, 2013.
Cain A. Parotitis. Net Doctor website. Available at: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/parotitis.htm. Updated October 4, 2005. Accessed June 6, 2013.
Chitre VV, Premchandra DJ. Review: recurrent parotitis. Arch Dis Child. 1997;77:359-363.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -