St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Salivary duct stones

    Sialolithiasis

    Salivary duct stones are deposits of minerals the ducts that drain the salivary glands. Salivary duct stones are a type of salivary gland disorder.

    Causes

    Saliva (spit) is produced by the salivary glands in the mouth. The chemicals in saliva can form a hard crystal that can block the salivary ducts.

    When saliva cannot exit a blocked duct, it backs up into the gland. This may cause pain and swelling of the gland.

    There are three pairs of major salivary glands.

    • Parotid glands. These are the two largest glands. One is located in each cheek over the jaw in front of the ears. Inflammation of one or more of these glands is called parotitis, or parotiditis.
    • Submandibular glands. These two glands located at the back of the mouth on both sides of the jaw.
    • Sublingual glands. These two glands are located are under the floor of the mouth.

    Salivary stones most often affect the submandibular glands. They can also affect the parotid glands.

    Symptoms

    • Problems opening the mouth or swallowing
    • Dry mouth
    • Pain in the face or mouth
    • Swelling of the face or neck (can be severe when eating or drinking)

    The symptoms occur most often when eating or drinking.

    Exams and Tests

    The health care provider or dentist will do an exam of your head and neck to look for one or more enlarged, tender salivary glands. The doctor may be able to feel the stone during the exam.

    Tests such as x-rays, ultrasound, MRI scan or CT scan of the face are used to confirm the diagnosis.

    Treatment

    The goal is to remove the stone.

    Steps you can take at home include:

    • Drinking lots of water
    • Using sugar-free lemon drops to increase the saliva

    Other ways to remove the stone are:

    • Massaging the gland with heat. The doctor or dentist may be able to push the stone out of the duct.
    • In some cases, you may need surgery to cut out the stone.
    • A newer treatment that uses shock waves to break the stone into small pieces is another option.
    • A new technique called Sialoendoscopy can diagnosis and treat stones in the salivary gland duct using miniature cameras and instruments
    • If stones become infected or recur often, you may need surgery to remove the salivary gland.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Most of the time salivary duct stones cause only pain or discomfort, and at times become infected

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of salivary duct stones.

    References

    Elluru RG. Physiology of the salivary glands. In: Cummings Cw, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elseiver;2010:chap 84.

    Lacey J. Diagnostic imaging and fine-needle aspiration of the salivary glands. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elseiver;2010:chap 85.

    Rogers J, McCaffrey TV. Inflammatory disorders of the salivary glands. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elseiver;2010:chap 86.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Head and neck glands

      illustration

      • Head and neck glands

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Talking to your MD

          Self Care

            Tests for Salivary duct stones

            Review Date: 8/5/2013

            Reviewed By: Ashutosh Kacker, MD, BS, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Associate Attending Otolaryngologist, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
            adam.com

            A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


            Back  |  Top
            About Us
            Contact Us
            History
            Mission
            Locations & Directions
            Quality Reports
            Annual Reports
            Honors & Awards
            Community Health Needs
            Assessment

            Newsroom
            Services
            Brain & Spine
            Cancer
            Heart
            Maternity
            Orthopedics
            Pulmonary
            Sleep Medicine
            Urgent Care
            Women's Services
            All Services
            Patients & Visitors
            Locations & Directions
            Find a Physician
            Tour St. Luke's
            Patient & Visitor Information
            Contact Us
            Payment Options
            Financial Assistance
            Send a Card
            Mammogram Appointments
            Health Tools
            My Personal Health
            mystlukes
            Spirit of Women
            Health Information & Tools
            Clinical Trials
            Health Risk Assessments
            Employer Programs -
            Passport to Wellness

            Classes & Events
            Classes & Events
            Spirit of Women
            Donate & Volunteer
            Giving Opportunities
            Volunteer
            Physicians & Employees
            For Physicians
            Remote Access
            Medical Residency Information
            Pharmacy Residency Information
            Physician CPOE Training
            Careers
            Careers
            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
            Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile