It could be easy to confuse a tooth infection with salivary duct stones since initially each is accompanied by intermittent mouth pain and swelling. However, that’s were the similarities end. These conditions are completely different, with each requiring treatment from a different qualified specialist.
Salivary stones are calcifications that form in the mouth, affecting a salivary gland or duct. Treatment for this condition calls for a board-certified ENT (ear/nose/throat) doctor like the experts at the Salivary Stone Center of Excellence. While there are several effective conservative treatments for this disorder, sometimes minimally invasive surgery is required, but you first need to be examined by a salivary gland surgeon to confirm the diagnosis and recommend the best possible treatment for you.
What are the Symptoms of Salivary Stones?
Salivary stones are calcified formations that can develop in the submandibular glands (floor of the mouth) or duct. There are also glands in the upper mouth and under the tongue, but these area are not as commonly affected.
Numerous conditions can increase the chance of getting the problem, including:
- Poor eating and insufficient hydration
- Medications – blood pressure, psychiatric, bladder control
Each of these salivary stone causes can lead to dehydration of the mouth, which is the common culprit of the disorder.
Initially, salivary gland stones symptoms can be nonexistent or mild, but once the glands are completely blocked by calcification, symptoms will worsen and develop into:
- Dry mouth
The condition will eventually affect eating, drinking and possibly swallowing because the mouth is too dry to accommodate passage of food or drink. At this time, it is vital to consult an ENT specialist who is experienced with salivary gland stones pain and can confirm the source of your problem.
Treating Salivary Stones
To assess which of the several salivary stone treatments is right for you, most doctors, including the specialists at the Salivary Stone Center of Excellence begin with a physical examination of the affected area. Next, your doctor will perform imaging tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan, to identify the cause of the pain. Once all the information has been collected, your doctor can recommend an appropriate treatment for you.
If possible, conservative treatment will be tried and if successful, you will not require further care. Many cases can be relieved with antibiotics which break up and minimize the stone which eventually gets flushed away. Otherwise, if the case is more advanced, you might require a minimally invasive procedure used to remove the stones. This procedure is called a sialendoscopy and requires no incisions. Otherwise, in other circumstances, a doctor will recommend salivary gland removal. Regardless of treatment, saliva production or oral health are not harmed by these procedures.
Talk To The Salivary Stone Specialists
If a salivary gland disorder has not gone away and continues to cause you pain, we can help you receive efficient treatment for the condition. Call us today at (888) 576-5946 and schedule a consultation with one of our ENT physicians and together with our medical staff, we can provide a solution for you.