Salivary glands are found in and around the mouth and throat region. They secrete saliva into the mouth through the salivary ducts. There are 3 major salivary glands- the parotid, sub mandibular and sublingual glands.

Besides these, there are around 600-1000 tiny glands called minor salivary glands located in the lips, inner cheek area (buccal mucosa), and in linings of the mouth and throat region. Salivary glands produce saliva that moistens the mouth, acting as a lubricant for speech, helping in swallowing, digestion, and also has antibacterial properties to protect teeth from decay.

Tests and investigations for salivary gland diseases
We advocate the latest advanced imaging techniques like Sialography (specialized dye is injected in the salivary gland and an X-ray of the gland is taken), Computed Tomography (CT Scans), Ultrasonography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), radioisotope scanning to diagnose and treat salivary gland diseases.

If an obstruction of the major salivary glands due to salivary gland stone is suspected, a dental x-rays may is taken to locate it and remove it surgically.

Treatment of salivary gland diseases
Treatment of salivary diseases includes both medical and surgical modalities. Type of treatment depends mainly upon the nature of the disease. Chronic salivary gland lesions require to be removed surgically. Salivary gland stones or sialoliths have to be surgically excised. If the stones are located within the duct, surgical approach through the mouth may be planned. If the stones are within the gland and if there are severe changes in the duct structure, then the gland may be surgically removed extraorally. In case of abscess, surgical drainage of the pus with antibiotic therapy may be required.
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