20 answers

Salivary Gland Issues

Last December, I woke up one morning, ate breakfast and noticed a sore, large bump on my neck. I went to the doctor who told me it was "just" an engorged salivary gland. It lasted about 10 days. It was medium sized when I wasn't eating, but when I ate it was really engorged. It was gone for a week, then it came back for a week. The doctor told me just to suck and chew sour candy and gum. Now, it's May and it is coming back, but the bump is smaller and there only when I eat. It gradually goes down after meals. Has anyone else ever had this happen to them? I asked the doctor if he thought it was a tumor and he said no because the bump would just stay there. I also don't have any other symptoms. The doctor said a little "stone" might come out into my mouth. But, I haven't seen one. I wonder if I should try a naturopath doctor to find out what else I can do. My tongue doesn't always appreciate the candy (or my sugar level). I don't have any friends/family that this has ever happend to, and I feel like an oddball.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

That exact thing happened to me! I finally went to an ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor who told me that the liquid in my salivary gland had been there so long it was likely infected. I took antibiotics and she gave me some mouth rinse to use a few times a day. I had to do two rounds of antibiotics and then it went away! Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

This happened to my husband and he had a total blockage. He ended up having the gland removed. It would get really big when he ate salty foods. He hasn't had any problems since and it's been 10+ years. Good luck! M.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I have had this happen to me. You may have a salivary stone. While sour candy and gum might increase your saliva production and possibly "wash" out a tiny stone, and while you may be able to dissolve a larger stone by eating/sucking on acidic foods (like pickles, lemons, etc), if the stone is very large you may do damage to your enamel on your teeth long before the stone is small enough to pass through the saliva duct. I only felt a stone on one side, but an oral surgeon took x-rays and found stones on both undersides of my tongue. I had the stones removed; one was the size of a cherry pit and the other a large watermelon seed. Both had adhered and felt like velcro ripping out when they were removed (under novocaine). About a month later, my brother had some dental work done and the dentist noticed a small stone on his x-ray. Just using hand pressure, he was able to squeeze out a loose stone the size of a mustard seed through the duct without cutting.

3 moms found this helpful

That exact thing happened to me! I finally went to an ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor who told me that the liquid in my salivary gland had been there so long it was likely infected. I took antibiotics and she gave me some mouth rinse to use a few times a day. I had to do two rounds of antibiotics and then it went away! Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

I did have this happen to me a couple of years back. I was worried and annoyed by it and actually thought I had an ear infection or TMJ or something... until a co-worker said that it may be a clogged saliva gland. I went to the doctor and they confirmed that is just what it is. As I remember, they did not really give me anything for it or do any procedure, I do remember the advice of sucking on sour candies and working it to unplug. Which eventually it did and I have not had a recurrence. I forgot about it until seeing your note. So, don't stress, it should disappear soon and you are NOT an oddball :)

2 moms found this helpful

C.,

I would get it looked at. I worked in 3 oral surgeons offices years ago, & it may be a blocked salivary gland. Pretty easy to take care of. The fact that it gets bigger & smaller is consistent with a clogged duct.

However, it could be a tumor. My dad actually had this a few months ago & went to specialists & had 2 bouts of antibiotics & it didn't clear up. He had a biopsy & came back suspicious for cancer. He met with three ENTs & ended up having it removed by the head of the ENT dept. at the UW last month. Thankfully, it wasn't cancer....it was just chronically inflammed! Better to know for sure, though!

Good luck. I'm sure it's nothing, but as a mom....we have to take care of ourselves, too.

2 moms found this helpful

i would recommend going to an oral surgeon or an Ear, Nose throat specialist. I had a very similiar situation on the bottom of my mouth and it was a blocked salivary duct. the oral surgeon removed it and i have not had any problems since. I don't know if this has anything to do with pregnancy, but i got my when i was pregnant with my second. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

My husband just had the same thing, and he saw a naturopathic doctor who had him take some homeopathic Parotid tablets. They worked! He was better in two days, and completely symptom free in three days and still gone. He said the doctor did some really unconventional things to come to the point where he diagnosed and prescribed a treatment, but it worked so maybe there is some truth in what they do?

2 moms found this helpful

I had this a few years ago and my doctor said it was an infection, common for people in their 20's. He gave me a normal course of antibiotics and that took care of it. It has never reoccurred.

2 moms found this helpful

Yeah, I had that happen. I ended up going to Dr. Slaughter in Medford he is a Oral & Maxillofacial specialist and he got the stone out.
Also, if you massage your salivary duct, it's that funny thing underneath your tongue behind your bottom teeth, that made saliva shoot out for me and lessen the discomfort.

Good Luck.

2 moms found this helpful

This happened to my husband and he had a total blockage. He ended up having the gland removed. It would get really big when he ate salty foods. He hasn't had any problems since and it's been 10+ years. Good luck! M.

2 moms found this helpful

Re: Marda's comment - A lymph node and a salivary gland are not the same thing, and self diagnosing on the internet is likely to be the least productive course of action without a definitive diagnosis.

To the original poster, C., Your doctor's advice seems unsatisfactory, as it has not relieved your problem. See another doctor, or better, a specialist, and get a better answer. As a personal example, I've been getting tonsillar stones periodically.....very concerned, and not knowing what they were (sudden appearance of a white spot on my tonsils, with sore throat and swelling), I went to my primary care doc. They cultured it (nothing) and told me it was possible to get food stuck in my tonsil. This seemed unlikely to me. Instead I sent a picture to my DENTIST, who immediately identified it as a tonsillar stone (something I was producing, not something getting caught), and explained what to do. So, short version, if you don't like the first answer, get another opinion. Doctors are just people, and they don't know everything.

Hope you get some help!

2 moms found this helpful

Get a second opinion, it sounds like your doctor isn't paying attention to your concerns. Sometimes we have to demand the proper diagnosis from doctors who are overworked and tend to be dismissive.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

This happens to me all the time. But, it only lasts a day or so and I've never heard about or even felt a little stone.

I usually get that if I'm not taking very good care of myself (I'm a smoker and drink coffee and alcohol, and I am a diabetic - not a very good combination) or if I am coming down with a cold.

My doctor said the same thing, sour foods and candy.

What I do is just get more rest, eased up on the smoking, stop drinking coffee and alcohol and drank a lot of water and eat more foods that get my glands going.

It always goes away quickly on it's own.

I hope you find this email helpful.

K.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear C., Yes, definitely see a naturopath. I find they are more determined to find answers.

Also, don't forget apple cider vinegar. put a little in a small glass of hot water every day....drink it down! Very good for you and anything pertaining to the throat,

Best of luck and health, M.-S

1 mom found this helpful

Nothing wrong with getting a second or third opinion!

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't had any in my neck become plugged, but the ones on the insides of my cheeks become enlarged and sore. My dentist told me that it was a salivary gland and that I could massage it to try to unplug it or use an antiseptic rinse in my mouth, which she gave me. Mine stay sore for anywhere from 3-15 days. Sometimes I can just massage it and fluid comes out, kind of like a pimple and then it clears up quickly. Other times it is just real large and rubs against my teeth and sticks around for a couple of weeks.

You might talk to your dentist and make sure it is a salivary gland and what to do for it. But, massage seems to work best for me. I was told that there are salivary glands under the tongue and then the ones near the second molar.

Good luck,
D.

1 mom found this helpful

I have removed my post about lymph nodes. Of course they're different than salivary glands. I used both terms and didn't even catch the discrepancy myself. I apologize,

If I were you and I knew and trusted my doctor I would either call, e-mail or make an appointment to get more information. Seeing a naturopath would be reasonable also. Jumping right into seeing a specialist (ENT) is over reacting in my opinion. They are more expensive and depending on your insurance you may need a referral from your general practicioner before the insurance will pay.


Have you seen your doctor more than once? Have you told him that the lump changes sizes and increases when you eat? Has he felt of the lump during more than one visit and still says that it's nothing to be concerned about? If you've given him the opportunity to observe the gland and hear your descriptions of what you've observed and he still says it's nothing to be concerned about ask him enough questions so that you will be reassured that it is nothing to concerned about.

A naturopath approaches the body in a different way. Perhaps a naturopathic doctor would be better able to reassure you or suggest something to try to reduce the symptoms even if they are not serious. Anything that causes you to be anxious does need to be explored and you need to have an answer that reassures you.

1 mom found this helpful

I've been studying into vitamins and minerals and been shocked in our our bodies are very deficient in most. Organic foods and consentrated vitamins in form of foods (like fermented veggies and fruits, cod liver oil, etc) are the best bet. So that is my first thought along with toxins building up from our bad diets. I would go to a naturpathic. They will help you heal from the inside out. Also I would look into a clinical nutritionalist. I don't know where there is one located, but in Woodburn there is a Roger Popp who is a wonderful man who will work with you on dietary issues. Good luck. His website is nutritionalclinic or something like that.

1 mom found this helpful

C.,
That sounds suspicious to me. I agree that you should get another opinion. I love Naturopaths.
I lost confidence in "Chemical" doctors long ago and still don't go unless it's something that doesn't go away. Then, I go to the Urgent Care and request a female doctor.
Case in point: I had a lump on the inside of my leg right near my "girl stuff". I was told that it was a sabaceous syst and that if It got to the point of bothering me, they would remove it. "Remove what?" Well, I began to work with a holistic person who gave me some CD's about dairy. I immediately stopped all dairy and within less than 2 days the cyst was shrinking and by 7 days the scar was gone. It has been over 3yrs and it hasn't returned. There is no sign that it ever was there.
Definitely get a second opinion if you aren't satisfied with your doctor's diagnosis and lack of treatment.
Be Well.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

I had the same thing happen and it ended up being an infection. After two days of antibiotics, I had a really horrible taste come into my mouth as it seemed like the saliva washed through the gland and drained the infection into my mouth. After that, I had no more pain, finished the antibiotics and only notice the beginnings of it when I use too much mouthwash or pre-rinse whitener for my teeth. White wine also gives me problems. I went to an ENT and she thought it was weird that those things affected me like that, but after the antibiotics she gave me helped, I have been fine ever since-it has been over a year now.
Good luck!
C.

1 mom found this helpful

This happened to my mom. I suggest you see a specialist ENT (Ears, Nose, Throat Dr.) in conjunction with a Naturopath. My mom had to have hers surgically drained because it got infected. She was so happy to have it done. She struggled for months with infection in her salivary gland. Remember... lots of fluids and beef up your immune system by avoiding refined sugars. Any infection in your head is serious so the naturopath can help you boost your immune system. The ENT can keep tabs on it for more serious problems, like infection, which may require antibiotics or surgery. I hope soon it gets back to normal for you. Hope this isn't unsettling info for you. Just wanted to let you know it does happen to others and sounds like your case is fairly minor compared to my mom's. Yea!

1 mom found this helpful

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