Salivary gland infections

Parotitis; Sialadenitis

Salivary gland infections affect the glands that produce spit (saliva). The infection may be due to bacteria or viruses.

There are 3 pairs of major salivary glands:

  • Parotid glands: These are the 2 largest glands. One is located in each cheek over the jaw in front of the ears. Inflammation of 1 or more of these glands is called parotitis, or parotiditis.
  • Submandibular glands: These 2 glands are located just under both sides of the lower jaw and carry saliva up to the floor of the mouth under the tongue.
  • Sublingual glands: These 2 glands are located just under the front most area of the floor of the mouth.

All of the salivary glands empty saliva into the mouth. The saliva enters the mouth through ducts that open into the mouth in different places.

Head and neck glands

There are several pairs of salivary glands in different locations: a major pair in front of the ears (parotid glands); two major pair on the floor of the mouth (sublingual and submaxillary glands); and several minor pairs within the lips, cheeks, and tongue.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention