Owing to the close proximity of the salivary glands to various facial nerves, salivary gland surgery requires a high level of surgical skill and experience.

 
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Salivary gland conditions
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Salivary gland conditions

Humans have a variety of salivary glands which produce saliva to help transport food from the mouth to the stomach and initiate the process of digestion. There are three pairs (left and right) of major salivary glands: the parotid glands located close to the ears, the submandibular glands under the lower jaw and the sublingual glands beneath the tongue. In addition, there are many minor salivary glands which can be identified as palpable small nodules in the lips or cheeks, for example. Salivary consistency varies by the gland of origin.

Owing to the close proximity of the salivary glands to various facial nerves, salivary gland surgery requires a high level of surgical skill and experience. Surgical incisions for access to the major salivary glands are made in the relaxed skin tension lines, so that the resulting scars are as inconspicuous as possible. This is why we recommend that salivary gland surgery be performed by experienced surgeons with additional qualifications to perform plastic surgery.

Inflammation of the salivary glands (sialadenitis)

Inflammation of the salivary glands may be the result of impaired salivary flow. This may be caused by various factors: obstruction of the secretory ducts (due to salivary stones or scars at the duct orifices), tissue changes within the salivary glands (resulting from repetitive inflammation, for example) or benign or malignant neoplasms within the salivary glands. Inflammation of the salivary glands may also be caused by viral infections such as mumps.

In the majority of cases, acute sialadenitis is managed conservatively with antibiotic therapy. When the inflammatory symptoms have abated, it is important to treat the cause of the condition and, if necessary, remove the salivary gland affected.



 
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