Salivary gland stones are also called sialolithiasis and may occur when a person has too much calcium in their body, becomes chronically dehydrated, or suffers from a bacterial staph infection. All of these conditions will cause the salivary ducts and glands to swell, which blocks the flow of saliva and creates stones.
Since saliva is an integral part of helping your mouth keep a balanced pH level and naturally wash away bacteria and acid, making sure to have healthy salivary glands is also a part of having good dental health.
Salivary Gland Stones Symptoms
When your salivary ducts become blocked by stones, the saliva then has nowhere to go. This can cause swelling, pain, and even a fever in some cases. A few other common symptoms of salivary stones include the following:
- Chronic bad breath caused by dry mouth or infection in the salivary glands
- Pain when or difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Saliva that feels gritty or tastes bitter
- Visible lumps or stones in the salivary glands, which are located under the tongue
If your salivary glands aren’t properly and quickly treated, they can create a bacterial infection, which may become dangerous. Untreated salivary glands will eventually need surgical drainage and IV antibiotics.
Preventing Salivary Gland Stones
The best way to prevent developing stones in the salivary glands is to make sure to maintain a sufficient flow of saliva. This means making sure you’re staying hydrated and practicing good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing every daily, and visiting your regular dentist for a dental cleaning and a checkup.
You should be making sure to visit your general dentist regularly even when undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you’re concerned about salivary gland stones or to make an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation in Aurora, Colorado, please contact Garlock Orthodontics today.