What are Salivary Gland Stones (Sialolithiasis)?
Sialolithiasis is also known as salivary stones. These are mineral deposits that have hardened in the salivary glands. This condition is more common in people aged 30-60. Men are more likely than women to develop salivary stones.
The submandibular salivary cells are the most common place for salivary stones. However, they can also form in any other salivary glands.
- The parotid glands are located on the side of your face, close to the ears.
- The sublingual glands are located under the tongue (uncommon).
- Rarely, the minor salivary glands under the tongue or cheeks and below the palate are located on the inner side of the cheek or lips.
Symptoms of Salivary Gland Stones (Sialolithiasis)
Salivary stones can cause pain, swelling, or both in the salivary system. The symptoms can worsen when someone eats or anticipates eating. A routine exam might show a symptom-free salivary stone on an x-ray.
These symptoms may be intermittent or persistent over several weeks. The symptoms can get worse if the stone grows or moves in a way that blocks a duct of the gland. This is called sialadenitis.
Causes of Salivary Gland Stones (Sialolithiasis)
Although the cause of salivary stones formation is unknown, there are several factors that may be involved.
Insufficient fluid intake, illness, medications, diuretics (water pills), and anticholinergic medication can lead to dehydration.
- Trauma to the inside and mouth
- Gum disease
Your Century ENT doctor will ask for a medical history, and then gently feel the salivary glands in the mouth.
The doctor might recommend imaging to rule out other conditions, such as:
- Salivary tumor
- Salivary gland infection
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Radiation exposure
- Imaging exam: Reactions to iodine