You might be well aware of the stones that form in your kidneys. But do you know that stones can also develop in your salivary glands? You heard it right! A calcified structure can develop in your salivary glands, including its ducts. We talked to Dr Kishkindha, BDS, Ludhiana, Punjab, to learn more about salivary gland stones, their cause, symptoms, and treatment.
Also known as sialolithiasis, salivary gland stones can lead to severe pain and inflammation. When saliva is not released, there will be a shortage of it in the mouth, which could lead to problems like dry mouth, infection, and gum disease. The treatment of salivary gland stones involves: massaging the gland if the stones are smaller in size and surgery if they get bigger.
Causes Of Salivary Gland Stones
The stones of salivary glands are also known as sialolithiasis, which can occur due to improper diet. This condition is also associated with certain autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and conjunctivitis.
Also Read: Tonsil Stones: Symptoms And How To Manage It
If the saliva secretion is not proper and it gets thick and ropy, then mineral contents like calcium and phosphorous begin to accumulate in the salivary glands. Particularly, these minerals' granules accumulate in the salivary gland's duct. Most commonly, they affect the duct of the submandibular gland, known as the Wharton duct.
Along with improper diet, people who are dehydrated are also at risk of having these stones in their salivary glands. This is because calcium and other minerals keep on releasing in the saliva, and less hydration increases the chances of their hardening and accumulation in the duct.
Symptoms Of Stones In The Salivary Gland
As per Dr Kishkindha, if the duct in which saliva is flowing has any mineral or calcium deposition, then the saliva flow will not be maintained, due to which the saliva will go back, accumulating in the salivary gland, causing severe pain and inflammation.
When saliva is not released, there will be a shortage of it in the mouth, which could lead to problems like dry mouth, improper digestion, and bad breath. If not treated, a dry mouth (xerostomia) can lead to infection, cavities, and gum disease.
Diagnosis Of Salivary Gland Stones
Dr Kishiskinda said, "To diagnose salivary gland stones, we inject a dye material, which is radio-opaque in nature, into the salivary duct. When we observe it on the screen, we can see that the motion of the dye beeps up and becomes slow wherever it encounters the stone. While the salivary duct is radiolucent, where the probe encounters the stones, it gives a kind of radiopacity when seen radiographically.”
Also Read: 4 Kinds Of Kidney Stones You Need To Know About And Treatment Options For Cure
Treatment Of Salivary Gland Stones
For the treatment, you need to visit your dentist, who will treat you based on the size of the stone in your salivary glands.
If the stones are smaller, then your dentist can ejaculate or take them out easily with the help of a massage. But if the stones are bigger, you will get surgical treatment to remove them. In this case, your dentist will give an incision on the gland to eliminate the stones from it.
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