What is the Treatment for Parotitis

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 11, 2012
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Quick Bites

  • Treatment depends on what is causing the parotitis.
  • Flossing and tooth brushing may help with healing.
  • Medications may include antibiotics.
  • Warm salt-water rinses can help keep the mouth moist.

Parotitis is the name given to inflammation and infection of the largest of the salivary glands known as the parotid glands. Inflammation results in swelling of the tissues that surround the salivary glands, redness, and soreness. Salivary glands are responsible for producing saliva in the mouth, which has the important function of cleansing the mouth. Inflammation of the salivary glands reduces their ability to function properly and may lead to infections within the mouth.

Antibiotic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for parotitis that is caused by a bacterial infection. Additionally, if a secondary infection occurs within the mouth due to the dysfunctional salivary glands, antibiotics can be prescribed. Such an infection is diagnosed by fever or the presence of pus in the mouth. If complications such as an abscess occur, surgical drainage or aspiration may be required.

Parotitis Treatment

Treatment for Parotitis

In addition to following your health care provider’s instructions and taking all medications as prescribed, you can speed your recovery by:

  • Brushing your teeth frequently during the day and practicing good oral hygiene
  • Drinking extra fluids
  • Eating soft foods
  • Gargling with warm salt water
  • Refraining from smoking or other tobacco use
  • Medications may include:
  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections (antibiotics are not effective for viral infections)
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to manage inflammation and pain


Your doctor may need to remove a stone, tumour, or other blockage. Increasing saliva flow may be all that is needed to remove a mucus plug.

You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you.

Complications of parotitis include:

  • Abscess of salivary gland
  • Adverse effects of parotitis treatment
  • Facial paralysis
  • Chronic pain or discomfort
  • Infection of other organs
  • Spread of bacterial infection


To help reduce your chances of parotitis get prompt treatment for any infections, see your dentist for proper oral care as recommended, and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydration.

Image: Getty

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