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Wheaton Oral Surgery and Implant Center

Salivary Gland Disorders and Surgical Interventions

Posted on 4/15/2024 by Weo Admin
digital illustration of a patient with the salivary glad highlightedSaliva plays a vital role in oral health and function. When one of the major salivary glands malfunctions, it can lead to insufficient saliva flow (xerostomia) or swelling and pain. An oral surgeon may recommend surgery in certain cases to address the underlying gland issue.

Blocked Salivary Ducts

Saliva draining from glands travels through ducts that can sometimes become blocked. This obstruction prevents normal saliva outflow, resulting in a swollen, painful gland. Using imaging, your surgeon will determine if a stone or other blockage exists. If so, a procedure to open the duct may be performed to restore saliva flow.

Salivary Cysts and Tumors

Non-harmful fluid-filled cysts or noncancerous tumors can develop inside salivary glands. As they grow bigger over time, they may cause recurring swelling, pressure, or numbness. Depending on the type, complete surgical removal along with part or all of the affected gland is often warranted.

Salivary Infections

Bacterial infections of salivary glands lead to painfully inflamed swellings. A course of antibiotics may be tried initially to clear the infection. However, chronic or recurring infections may necessitate surgery to drain abscesses or remove infected glandular tissue. This helps prevent further complications.

Dry Mouth Treatments

When salivary glands malfunction, leading to chronic dry mouth, surgery may aid moisture recovery. A procedure called salivary gland transplantation takes functional gland tissue from elsewhere in your mouth and reimplants it into regions lacking saliva secretion. Though still being refined, results thus far show promise for reducing xerostomia.

Nerve Considerations

During salivary surgery, the facial nerves are at risk due to the proximity of the parotid gland. Using specialized nerve monitoring equipment, surgeons carefully track nerves during procedures to avoid damage that could cause unwanted facial weakness or paralysis. Meticulous surgical techniques allow gland problems to be corrected while preserving precious nerve function.

Partnering With Your Oral Surgeon

If salivary issues significantly disrupt your oral comfort and function, surgery may help provide solutions. Work closely with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to explore options tailored to your situation. Implementing an appropriate treatment plan can put you back on track to healthy saliva flow and oral well-being.

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Wheaton Oral Surgery and Implant Center, 2323 Naperville Rd, STE 160, Naperville, IL 60563 + (331) 204-0314 + + 5/19/2024 + Associated Words: oral surgeon Naperville IL +