salivary glands

What are your understandings of the salivary glands? What are the issues she is facing? Find out the answers in this article.

salivary glands

The following lines will provide you with the key details regarding diseases and issues that affect the salivary glands:

What are the salivary glands and where are they located?

In addition to the three pairs of large and basic salivary glands found in the mouth, there are 750–1000 secondary salivary glands dispersed throughout the mouth and digestive system.

  • The largest salivary glands are the parotid glands, which are situated on either side of the face in front of each ear. The parotid gland is divided into two lobes, one on each side of the facial nerve, which are the superficial lobe closest to the front of the neck, and the deep lobe in the tissues of the neck.
  • Two glands can be found under the lower jaw, close to the chin and tongue. These are called submandibular glands.
  • The smallest salivary glands are the sublingual glands, which are found beneath the tongue.

In terms of the secondary glands, half of them are found on the hard palate in the roof of the mouth and the other half are found in the lips, cheeks, nose, sinuses, and nasopharynx.

What is the function of the salivary glands?

Saliva is secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands through ducts. Saliva moistens food in the mouth, making it easier to chew and swallow, and as a result, plays a significant role in the digestion process. It also provides the amylase enzyme , which helps in the process of breaking down starches in the stomach.

Saliva helps maintain healthy teeth, prevents bad breath, and aids in speaking and swallowing. It also contains antibodies that fight germs, prevent mouth and throat infections, and promote oral hygiene.

What are the problems and diseases that affect the salivary glands?

It is possible for the salivary glands to become infected or block their ducts with stones, and this causes pain and produces less saliva, which causes dry mouth and tooth decay. The following information is crucial to understanding the issues that these glands are affected by:

1. Obstruction

Because saliva contains salts that obstruct its flow, small stones may develop in the glands' ducts, causing the glands to swell, swell, and hurt.

A symptom of a blocked salivary duct is swelling and pain over the affected gland that gets worse after eating, specifically food that stimulates salivary flow, such as: lemon juice or pickles.

2. Inflammation of the salivary glands

A sore throat or a cold can injure lymph nodes, which can lead to secondary infection in the salivary glands. The salivary glands can become infected due to blockage of the ducts and the accumulation of saliva in them, or due to a severe decrease in saliva flow, both of which increase the opportunity for the growth and multiplication of bacteria.

Fever, chills, pain and swelling on the side of the face with the infected gland, as well as the development of pus in the gland, are some of the most noticeable signs of its infection.

The likelihood of infection rises in the following circumstances, which affect the parotid glands more:

  • People in their fifties and sixties.
  • Chronic disease and dry mouth.
  • Sj√∂gren 's syndrome .
  • Undergoing oral radiotherapy or radioactive iodine to treat the thyroid gland.

3. Tumors of the salivary glands

It is a painless gland enlargement. Malignant adenomas usually grow rapidly and may be painless, causing loss of movement on the affected side of the face.

4. Dysfunction of the salivary glands

A defect in the salivary glands causes less saliva to be produced, which causes dry mouth (xerostomia), which is common in adults. When you have one of the following infections, this issue could arise:

  • diseases such as HIV infection, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis infection.
  • taking some prescription drugs, such as sedatives, antidepressants, antihistamines, and antipsychotics.
  • Other conditions: such as exposure to chemotherapy and radiation.

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