If you have a salivary gland problem that is causing you discomfort, then you should consult an ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) or Head and Neck Surgeon who specializes in disorders of the salivary glands. This doctor can tell you the source of your problem and whether it’s a blocked gland from a stone, a tumor (growth) or infection.

Some of the typical symptoms that may indicate presence of salivary gland disorder include tenderness, swelling, or redness under or above the jaw and in front or under the ears while eating. Symptoms may also include dry mouth, fever, and chills.

There are several conditions that cause these symptoms, but there’s no reason to be alarmed and immediately assume the problem is a related to a tumor! Rather, you could have an infection or a stone that is blocking the salivary gland ducts. What’s important is that you discuss your problem with a doctor who is knowledgeable and has expertise in the field of salivary gland problems, an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. The most successful treatment outcomes occur during the early stages of a disorder when a growth or infection is less extensive and easier to treat.

Salivary Gland Examination

First, you’ll meet with your ENT doctor who will examine the affected area. You’ll then probably undergo an imaging test such as an ultrasound or CT scan to identify the location of the stone or the growth. If a growth is discovered, a small sample (also known as “biopsy”), may need to be taken in order to determine whether the growth is benign or cancerous.

The location of the infection, blocking stone or growth determines the type of surgery or medical intervention that will be required as treatment. In most case, these procedures can be done on an outpatient basis without the need for hospitalization. If problem is located in the parotid gland (the salivary gland located in front and below the ear), minimally invasive surgery can be performed. The surgeon will only need to make a small incision near the ear and use minimally invasive techniques to remove the growth.

Most salivary gland disorders occur in the submandibular region (under the lower jaw). If the growth is in this location, your physician would make a small incision in the neck to remove it. After the procedure, you will meet with the salivary gland doctor to discuss the findings. If the tumor (growth) is proven to be cancerous, your physician will thoroughly explain the next steps required for completion of the treatment.

As to your recovery from surgery, even minimally invasive procedures require time for the body to heal. You will probably feel some minor discomfort and soreness during the first few days after surgery in the area of surgery, but this is normal. Your doctor will give you detailed instructions regarding your postoperative care and follow-up. However, as always, you are encouraged to contact the doctor’s office if questions arise.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you are feeling persistent or recurrent pain, swelling and discomfort under the lower jaw or in front of and under the ear, don’t hesitate to seek medical assistance from an ENT doctor for a potential salivary disorder. We can help you with the accurate diagnosis andsuccessful treatment of your condition. Call us today at 888.817.1439 to schedule a consultation with a salivary gland specialist doctor at our Los Angeles facility.