A salivary gland infection is an infection of the salivary glands that is usually caused by a bacterial infection. The infection can present the onset of pain, a foul taste in the mouth and discomfort of the oral cavity.
An infection of the salivary gland can occur when a viral or bacterial infection affects an individual's duct or salivary glands. An infection of this nature can result from a number of causes; but most commonly reduced saliva flow as a result of inflammation or a blockage in the duct causes sialadenitis, or an infection of the salivary gland.
The Role of Saliva
Saliva plays an important role in a properly functioning body. It helps to break down food, it aids in digestion and it helps to keep the mouth clean.
Saliva is responsible for keeping the good and bad bacteria of the mouth in check by washing away the harmful bacteria. When saliva does not travel freely within the mouth the result is a buildup of harmful bacteria, which eventually can lead to infection.
What Are the Symptoms of a Salivary Gland Infection?
The human mouth houses three pairs of major salivary glands. On either side of the face there are salivary glands located on the inside of each cheek. These are the largest of the salivary glands and are known as parotid glands.
The glands sit above the jaw, but in front of the ears. There are also submandibular glands, which are located on the bottom of the mouth underneath the tongue. In addition to these major glands there are hundreds of small (or minor) glands throughout the mouth.
When any of these glands become infected, you might experience any of the following symptoms: