Salivary Gland Enlargement



  • The parotid, submandibular and sublingual salivary glands may become painfully or non-painfully enlarged  as the result of several local or systemic disorders.
    • Feel For

    • Enlargement of the salivary glands, which may be associated with tenderness or firmness. Look for the openings of the ducts in the oral cavity.
    • Location of Glands

    • Parotid glands - preauricular, wrapped around the mandibular ramus.
    • Submandibular glands - beneath the body of the mandible on each side
    • Sublingual glands - beneath the tongue
    • Causes of Salivary Gland Enlargement

    • Painful Enlargement

    • Ductal obstruction - sialolithiasis
    • Infection - viral (mumps / HIV), bacterial (Staph aureus)
    • Radiation induced sialadenitis
    • Sjogren's syndrome
    • Painless Enlargement

    • Tumour
    • Sialosis - alcoholism, diabetes, malnutrition
    • Pneumoparotid (especially in wind instrument players)
    • Chronic bulimia nervosa
    • Firmness

    • Tumour
    • Sarcoidosis (parotid)
Want more info like this?
  • Your electronic clinical medicine handbook
  • Guides to help pass your exams
  • Tools every medical student needs
  • Quick diagrams to have the answers, fast
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge