Salivary gland stones is a public health problem occurs when one of the salivary glands, form stones. One or more of the stones can cause pain and edema busy salivary gland.
Salivary glands produce saliva, which is necessary during the meals. It is crucial to maintaining the appropriate moisture in the mouth and esophagus. It also contains the chemicals (enzymes) which break down some of the starch and fat in foods.
Three pairs of glands produce saliva, and its drain is located in the oral cavity in the form of the salivary channels. A submandibular gland located at the bottom of the mouth, one on each side, and the output is under the tongue. Glands bibs are also just below and in front of the ears, and the saliva passes them along the salivary gland to the inside of the cheeks. Sublingual glands are located just under the tongue.
All these organs interact to ensure the proper amount of saliva in the mouth at all times. When we eat, salivary gland automatically secretes more saliva, which allows us to eat comfortably.
The causes of salivary gland stones
The chemicals contained in the saliva may sometimes crystallize to form stones that can block the salivary ducts. In some patients, can appear one or two small pebbles in one of the salivary glands. This phenomenon is most common in people over the age of 40, but can occur at any age.
The reason why appears salivary gland stones are not known. Salivary gland stones are formed of calcium most often. However, they are not associated with abnormalities in blood serum of calcium, or other problems with the calcium in the body. As shown by some studies, changes in the flow of saliva may occur in connection with a reactor, because it is connected with the formation of salivary gland stones.
Salivary gland stones most often are bound with another disease. The size of the stones can vary from 1 mm to several centimeters, but they are most often up to 10 mm
The symptoms salivary gland stones
The most often health problem occurs in the submandibular parotid, that is the one which runs under the tongue. Most salivary glands are thinner than the incisions, so that, in them, stones are rarely formed.
At the time of the appearance of stones in the parotid, saliva is blocked and goes back to the gland, causing pain and swelling. Most often occur:
- pain and swelling in affected gland at mealtimes – the pain can be intense and sudden, appearing just after the start of a meal; swelling appears as quickly and can last up to 1-2 hours after a meal;
- reduced salivation – most often stones do not block the channel of the salivary completely, allowing restricted flow of fluid; whereby there may be some additional symptoms such as a dull pain appears from time to time over a gland, wherein there is stone, swollen gland (permanent or different size emerging from time to time);
- infection of the gland that causes redness and pain – can grow up in a ball of infection with pus (abscess forming), causing discomfort.
There are situations in which there appear no symptoms, and the problem is diagnosed by chance such during the X-ray performed for another reason.
Diagnosis and treatment of salivary gland stones
The symptoms the disease are often inconclusive, and the doctor very often can feel the stone at the mouth of salivary gland duct. Ordinary X-ray examination can detect positions of salivary stones when there are more.
- computed tomography, ultrasound, MRI,
- sialography – a specialized x-ray using dye, which helps to notice the changes in the salivary glands;
- endoscopic examination.
Treatment most often involves the removal of stones from salivary glands (sometimes stones wantonly leave). During surgery of removing the stones, is most commonly used a local anesthetic.
Sometimes, it is used lithotripsy, which uses sound waves to break up stones.
The appearance of stones in salivary gland, is usually the problem is one-off, and after removing it does not arise any complications. However, if the problem recurs, it is used to remove the salivary gland.
Because a cause of illness is not identified yet, it is not known how can prevent them. But it is important to drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot climates.