Salivary gland disorders

Am Fam Physician. 2014 Jun 1;89(11):882-8.


Salivary gland disorders include inflammatory, bacterial, viral, and neoplastic etiologies. The presentation can be acute, recurrent, or chronic. Acute suppurative sialadenitis presents as rapid-onset pain and swelling and is treated with antibiotics, salivary massage, hydration, and sialagogues such as lemon drops or vitamin C lozenges. Viral etiologies include mumps and human immunodeficiency virus, and treatment is directed at the underlying disease. Recurrent or chronic sialadenitis is more likely to be inflammatory than infectious; examples include recurrent parotitis of childhood and sialolithiasis. Inflammation is commonly caused by an obstruction such as a stone or duct stricture. Management is directed at relieving the obstruction. Benign and malignant tumors can occur in the salivary glands and usually present as a painless solitary neck mass. Diagnosis is made by imaging (e.g., ultrasonography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging) and biopsy (initially with fine-needle aspiration). Overall, most salivary gland tumors are benign and can be treated with surgical excision.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mumps / therapy
  • Parotitis / diagnosis
  • Parotitis / therapy
  • Salivary Gland Calculi / diagnosis
  • Salivary Gland Calculi / therapy
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / etiology
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / therapy*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / surgery
  • Sialadenitis / diagnosis
  • Sialadenitis / microbiology
  • Sialadenitis / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Parotitis, Juvenile Recurrent