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Salivary Gland Enlargement

August 18th, 2017


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)
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