URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/salivaryglanddisorders.html

Salivary Gland Disorders

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Your salivary glands make saliva - sometimes called spit - and empty it into your mouth through openings called ducts. Saliva makes your food moist, which helps you chew and swallow. It helps you digest your food. It also cleans your mouth and contains antibodies that can kill germs.

Problems with salivary glands can cause the glands to become irritated and swollen. This causes symptoms such as

  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Pain in the face or mouth
  • Swelling of the face or neck

Causes of salivary gland problems include infections, obstruction or cancer. Problems can also be due to other disorders, such as mumps or Sjogren's syndrome.

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Specific Conditions

  • Mucocele (Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine)
  • Parotitis (Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine)
  • Sialadenitis (Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine)
  • Sialoliths (Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine)


Clinical Trials


  • Find an ENT (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)


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