Normal function and health of the mouth depend on normal function of and secretion if saliva by the major and minor salivary glands.
   Failure of salivary secretion causes dry mouth which, apart from the unpleasantness of the symptoms, encourages oral infections.
   Two main conditions will be discussed.


  Obstruction is usually due to SALIVARY CACULI which occasionally forms in a salivary gland or its duct by deposition of calcium salt's around a nidus of organic material.
   Majority of the calculi form in the submandibular gland, while the sublingual and minor salivary glands account for the minority.

Signs and Symptoms of the Salivary Gland

  1. Adults are mainly affected.
  2. It his usually unilateral.
  3. The classical symptom is pain, relate to eating, when the smell or taste of food stimulates salivary secretion.
  4. Obstruction of duct leads to infections, pain and swelling of the gland.
Treatment of the salivary gland 
  If the obstruction is sufficiently far forward in the duct stone may be milked forward and manipulated out of the duct orifice. Otherwise the duct may have to be opened surgically in order to remove the calculi.


  Mumps is an acute viral infection causing painful swelling particular of the parotids and sometimes other glands.
  It is highly infectious and may cause minor epidemics. It is the commonest cause of parotid gland swelling.

Sign and symptoms of mumps

  1. Children are mainly affected.
  2. An incubation period of about 21days is usually followed by 
     a. Headaches.
     b. Malaise.
     C. Fever.
     d. Swelling of parotids.
 3. Both sides are usually affected.
 4. The swelling are tense, painful and                 tender.
 5. After the attack immunity is long lasting.


  1. Antibiotics treatment should be commensed as soon as sentivity test is performed.
  2. Supportive.
      a. Bed rest
      b. Maintenance and fluid balance.
      c. Analgesics.

Other salivary gland disease includes:

 1. Ranula

These are mococeles arising from the sublingual or submanbular salivary glands ( mucoceles are salivary extravasation cysti).
  Ranula are usually unilateral and usually 2 to 3cm in diameter.
  They are soft , fluctuant and bluish in color, a ranula is usually pain less. Sometimes it may interfere with speech or mastication. Occasionally they are large and extend across the floor of the mouth (Get its name from this characteristic ranula- like a frog)

Dry mouth(xerostomia)

This is an unpleasant condition due to inability to produce saliva. The main causes are:
  1. Emotional disturbance.
  2. Acute anxiety.
  3. Mouth breathing.
  4. Excessive smoking.
  5. Neuroses.
  6. Drugs ( medications) like amphitamines.
  7. Disease of the salivary glands.
Treatment is by removing the causative factor.
 Read: What causes dry mouth in pregnancy woman

   Read more on  Dryness of the mouth


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