When you begin to feel discomfort on cheeks and your mouth tastes foul, you may have salivary gland infection. There are 3 main sets of glands on both sides of the face that can get infected.
Parotid glands are the largest glands located in the cheeks. Submandibular glands are on the back side of the mouth and Sublingual glands are located under the floor of the mouth.
The job of these glands is to pour saliva into the mouth though different openings and ducts. When these ducts are blocked due to any reason, they are susceptible to bacterial infections. Viral infection such as mumps can also cause salivary glands particularly the Parotid Gland to swell.
Home treatment can be sufficient in most cases of salivary gland swelling or infections, however, medical attention may be required in some cases.
When the flow of saliva from the ducts stops or slows down, the saliva in the glands may gradually solidify and turn into stone in the gland. There are hundreds of minor saliva glands that move saliva through narrow capillaries or ducts into the mouth.
When these ducts face blockage, symptoms like dry mouth, pain on the cheeks and jaw skins, foul tasting drainage in the mouth, swelling of glands and fever may appear.
Swelling already an indication that the saliva is crystallizing to form stones. The condition is called sialolithiasis. The blockage due to stone build up can not only cause pain and swelling but causes infection also.
The pain and swelling may come and go, particularly on one side of the face. it should be treated immediately to stop the salivary gland infection.
Home Remedies for Salivary Gland Infection or Swelling
Most salivary gland infections can go away on their own, but Some infections may come back after a prolonged period of no infections. Therefore, most of these infections don't require any medical treatments.
Taking precautions to avoid occurrences and doing following common sense advice are the best remedies against salivary gland infections.
Most salivary gland infections begin due to two main factors
- Ignoring to maintain proper dental hygiene
The resident bacteria in the mouth can cause infections when the conditions are ripe. These bacteria will flare up when the immunity is low. The staph bacteria which doesn't reside in the mouth may also attack the salivary glands during a sore throat.
1. Remain Fully Hydrated to Avoid Salivary Gland Infection
Dehydration causes dry mouth leading to infection. Drink at least 10 glasses of water during the day. If you work in an air-conditioned environment, then you don't get the urge to drink water. this lack of natural urge makes you dehydrated.
In today's modern lifestyle, dehydration is very common. So you need to be disciplined in drinking water. If there is no natural urge, then you just drink a glass of water every hour. Just make it your new healthy habit.
You will not only get rid of your salivary gland infection or swelling but also improve your immunity, which will help you to stay healthy.
You can also be a little creative with water if you have stones formed in your salivary glands. Alternatively keeping hot and cold water in your mouth can stimulate salivary gland and help loosen and dissolve the stones. Do the following:
- Place warm water in your mouth for 10 seconds and spit it out.
- Next place cold water in the mouth for 10 seconds and spit it out.
- Repeat this 10-15 times at a time.
- Do the same process 5 times a day.
Do anything that promotes saliva flowing to the mouth.
2. Lemon and Vitamin C
Sour taste in the mouth attracts saliva to flow. So keep anything in the mouth that can give a sour taste. Drink your water with lemon added to it, or keep a slice of lemon in the mouth for it to suck saliva out of the glands.
Get sour candies and keep them in the mouth. Let these candy slowly dissolve in your mouth. Don't it them or chew them. Just let them melt on their own in the mouth.
Eat oranges. Orange juice will not be as effective in producing saliva flow as eating oranges.
3. Eat more and Chew More
Eat healthy but eat more frequently if you have salivary gland infection, swelling or stones. The objective here is to increase immunity as well as more saliva production.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Chew them well.
Take at least 20 minutes to finish each of your two main meals (Lunch and Dinner). Don't increase the quantities of your daily food intake. Just chew it more so that the entire process of completing your usual meal in 20 minutes. Most of us these days are impatient while eating so we finish the food fast.
Eating should be a pleasurable activity. Don't rush while eating. Relax, chew and take time.
Other than you main meals, have at least 3 more go on the snacks. Have break fast in the same process of chewing and eating. Eat fruits during other snack times with the same zeal of chewing slowly.
All these activities will help you to produce more saliva. This extra production of saliva will help blocked salivary ducts to open up, eliminating your pain and swelling.
4. Warm Compress and Massage
Gently massaging the painful salivary gland will alleviate pain. You can also keep hot compress on the cheeks or jaws wherever it is painful to get relief.
A 15 minute of hot compress, 2-3 times a day should be very useful.
5. Maintain Better Oral Hygiene
Keeping your mouth clean helps to avoid possibilities of salivary gland infection. It may be as powerful a method of treatment of the infection as the other remedies mentioned above, but it does not help as a catalyst.
if you are following one or more of the above remedies to get rid of your salivary gland infection, then maintaining better hygiene will certainly expedite recovery.
If the above self help remedies do not produce desired results within 102 weeks then consult your doctor. You may require antibiotics or minor surgery.