Salivary Gland Disorders

Doctor checking throat for an elder patient

Salivary Gland Disorders

Salivary gland disorders vary widely, from common infections to malignant tumors. At Columbia Otolaryngology, our world-class team of physicians and surgeons is deeply experienced in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of all salivary gland disorders. Treatment for salivary gland diseases is either medical or surgical. When surgery is required, our surgeons rely on the most advanced techniques and least invasive options.

About the Salivary Glands

The salivary glands produce saliva, which moistens your mouth, initiates digestion, and helps to control levels of good and bad bacteria. There are three major salivary glands, which secrete saliva into your mouth through small tubes called ducts:

  • The parotid gland makes 25 percent of your saliva and drains into your mouth near the upper teeth.
  • The submandibular gland makes 70 percent of your saliva, which it secretes into the front portion of your mouth under your tongue.
  • The sublingual gland makes 5 percent of your saliva and drains through multiple ducts in the floor of your mouth.

In addition to these glands, there are hundreds of minor salivary glands lin your lips, inner cheek, and in the lining of the mouth and throat.

Most salivary gland issues occur when the ducts become blocked and saliva cannot drain.

Salivary Gland Conditions We Treat

Our specialists are skilled in treating the full range of salivary gland disorders, including:

  • Sialadenitis
  • Salivary stones
  • Chronic sialadenitis
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Salivary gland tumors