Salivary glands are organs that are distributed around the oral cavity and produce saliva (saliva). They are distinguished in major and minor. Major salivary glands are parotids, submandibulars and sublinguals. Minor salivary glands are about 400-500.
Saliva (saliva) is a liquid necessary for digestion, speech, ingestion and maintaining oral health. The amount of saliva produced per day is normally about 1-1.5 liters. In the salivary glands, the most common pathological conditions are infections, salivary stones, tumors, (benign and malignant) and autoimmune diseases.
Diseases of salivary glands
Sialadenitis (salivary gland inflammation)
Inflammation of salivary glands may be the result of blocking salivary flow. This may be due to many factors: obstruction of the gland ducts (from stones or narrowing), changes in salivary gland secretion (chronic inflammation, visceral secretions) or benign or malignant tumors of the salivary glands. In addition, inflammation of salivary glands may be due to viruses.
In most cases, acute sialadenitis is treated conservatively with antibiotic therapy. When conservative treatment is not successful, then other treatments (endoscopic, surgical) should be applied.
Retention cysts (or ranulas)
Retention cysts are small saliva sacs surrounded by a wall. They can be caused by a minor injury (such as a bite). The ranula is a form of such a cyst usually blue in color under the tongue. Retention cysts can be removed with local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Apart from the possibility of relapse, there are usually no other complications.
Salivary stones are stones (stones) of salivary glands (corresponding to kidney and gall bladder stones). They are usually located in the submandibular gland but they are not absent in the parotid gland. Salivary stones can remain completely asymptomatic for a long time and usually appears as an accidental finding on radiographs. A large stone can block the gland’s ductal system and cause inflammation (sialadenitis). This can happen suddenly.
In the early stages, sialadenitis is treated with preservatives (antibiotics, analgesics). Depending on the location of the stone it may be sufficient to remove only the stone (surgically or endoscopically) or the stone with the affected gland.
Salivary gland neoplasms can appear as palpable tumors or may be discovered at random on imaging tests (CT or MRI). In the vast majority of these tumors are benign but, if removed, are sent for examination to rule out malignancy. Because salivary glands are very close to the facial nerve and the branches, special care is needed during surgery to protect it as effectively as possible.
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