Hesperian Health Guides
Infection Inside the Spit (Saliva) Gland
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Spit glands are places where the spit or saliva is made. They are located in front of the ear and under the jaw, on each side of the head. If there is an infection inside a spit gland, the face will become swollen and the area will hurt.
Spit is sent from the gland to the mouth through a thin pipe called a duct. Ducts open into the mouth in two places: on the inside of each cheek and under the tongue.
A small stone can often block a duct and cause an infection in the spit gland and swelling of the face. You may be able to feel the stone near where the duct enters the mouth.
- swelling in the area of the spit gland.
- pain which gets worse when the person is hungry, and when he sees or smells food.
- the opening of the duct is red, swollen, and hurts when you touch it.
spit from this gland enters on the inside of the cheek
spit from this gland enters under the tongue
Reduce the infection and swelling first. Later try to remove the stone.
- Give penicillin for 5 days. If the swelling is large and the infection serious, start with short-acting crystalline penicillin.
- Give aspirin or acetominophen for pain.
- Apply a wet hot cloth to the swelling as often as possible.
- Give enough soft food to prevent the person from feeling hungry. The pain will be less then.
- When the person feels better, a dentist or doctor can remove the stone that is blocking the duct.