Infected Salivary Glands

Updated on January 14, 2010
H.S. asks from Farmington, MN
8 answers

My 18 month old has had 2 episodes of infected salivary glands in the last 2 months. He gets a red streak near his ear/jawline and it quickly gets worse until he gets antibiotics, which have cleared it up after the first dose or two (update - we do complete the entire course of antibiotics). Has anyone else had experience with this in your toddlers? There seems to be limited info, especially regarding children, on the internet. Thanks - I appreciate any insight you have!

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answers from Rapid City on

Activated (a.k.a. medicinal) charcoal can help clear up infection quickly (this is not the same thing as artists charcoal or fireplace soot). It has been used for centuries as an alternative medicine. Visit the following website: They have medicinal charcoal (look for colic calm for infants or activated charcoal powder-finely ground). They are also very helpful and would be happy to give advice if you prefer to consult them prior to purchasing. You can mix 1 Tablespoon in 8oz. water and have him drink it (you may need to let it settle and have him drink the "gray" water off the top), or you can apply an external poultice using ground flax meal, water, and charcoal powder several times until you see the infection begin to clear. Activated charcoal, may help prevent the infections.

As for other prevention methods... make sure that the bottles/sippy cups you are using are being sterilized between each use (this also goes for your breasts if you are still breast feading - bacteria such as Staphylococcus and yeasts/fungus such as Candida are naturally present on human skin and may be contributing to the problem). Don't let feeding instruments or pacifiers sit out for long periods of time without being washed, they will begin to breed bacteria quickly. You may find it helpful to follow each drink/meal with a good "mouth washing", either have him drink 6-10oz. or if possible rinse well with straight water following feeding/drinking.

You may also consider that he might be allergic to the milk you are giving him which could be triggering this infection. If his is old enough to be taken off milk/formula it may be well worth it. If he is still taking a bottle/pacifier you may want to wean him off it... the suckling process itself could be at the root of the problem.

Best wishes to you both!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

As an ER nurse I can honestly say I have never seen this before. My only suggestion is looking into food sensitivity. Maybe something he eats is compromising his immune system. Have you ever taken him to a chiropractor? Find one that does applied kinesiology--it is a way to test for food 'allergies' or sensitivities. My daughter had recurrent fever and headache and it was food related. You never know, and if you could help prevent the infection and keep him off antibiotics the better it is for him. I am NOT saying to not give him antibiotics though--if he has the infection he needs them. Good luck with this!



answers from Minneapolis on

Our daughter had a major bout with that at age 6. It was triggered by small calcium deposits in the glands. She is Asian and by that age was not able to metabolise the larger amounts of dairy products of my own Northern European diet habits. We cut back on milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc. That prevented a recurrance. This may have nothing to do with your own son's situation, but few folks, including doctors, seem to know about diet variances and their effects.



answers from Sioux Falls on

I have not had a similar situation, however, I just want to say that even though the symptoms are clearing up after 1-2 doses of antibiotics---PLEASE be sure the complete the full course of prescribed drugs, as problems such as drug resistance can become more common if you quit when the symptoms clear up.



answers from Phoenix on

My almost 4 year old daughter has an infected salivary gland right now. This is the 6th time within the last year that this has happened. We have had a CT Scan done when the gland was not inflamed and everything was clear. Our ENT says that there is nothing serious to worry about, we are not doing antibiotics this round (she is already on some right now for an ear infection) and we are just treating with a heating pad and motrin. She does seem to be lethargic when this happens and in pain. I do not like that it happens so often, however the ENT says surgery could cause more harm than help. The infection typically follows a cold/respiratory infection. Our next step would be a CT Scan when the gland is inflamed. If anyone has any additional comments or experiences, I would love to hear about them.



answers from Minneapolis on

My 6 yr old just got over a swollen infected salivary gland. It is very painful for the kids and my dr didn't have much to offer on that one either. I just think maybe they need to drink more to flush those glands out and maybe keep water out of the ears? I don't know either, but maybe that will help...



answers from Bismarck on

I don't know much on the salivary glands issue, but I would suggest some wonderful vitamins to help build up his immune system,



answers from Milwaukee on

Isn't this called Mumps?? When my daughter woke up one morning when she was about 19 months old the whole left bottom side of her face was swollen. All the way from her ear to her chin was way puffed up. I took her to the Dr and he said she had Mumps. She had been vaccinated, but it doesn't work for everyone.

I looked it up on line and it said it was an infection on the salivary glands. In our case, it wasn't painful, she just seemed to be a little under the weather. The following is from Web MD. If your son's infection is viral, the antibiotics will not help. We didn't get antibiotics and just treated the symptoms (Tylenol) and it cleared up on it's own. You should deffinatly see a doctor, though, because it can affect buy's reproductive systems sometimes.

What is mumps?
Mumps is a contagious viral infection that can cause painful swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotid glands, between the ear and the jaw. About 1 out of 3 people with mumps will not have gland swelling. They may have an upper respiratory tract infection (URI) instead.1

What causes mumps?
Mumps is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes near you, or shares food or drinks.

What are the symptoms?
Mumps can affect many body systems and cause flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain, swollen cheeks, and swollen and painful testicles. But up to 20 out of 100 people who are infected with the mumps virus do not have any symptoms.2

The incubation period-the time from when a person is first infected with the virus until the first symptoms develop-is usually 16 to 18 days, although it can be as long as 25 days. Infected people can spread the virus 1 to 2 days before symptoms start and for 5 days after symptoms start.

How is mumps diagnosed?
Mumps is most often diagnosed by a history of exposure to the disease, the presence of swelling and tenderness of the parotid glands, and other symptoms, including neck stiffness, headache, and painful testicles.

If needed, blood tests, such as an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, EIA), can be done to confirm the diagnosis and eliminate the possibility that another illness is causing the symptoms.

The mumps virus itself can be identified with a viral culture of samples of urine, saliva, or cerebrospinal fluid obtained by a lumbar puncture. These tests are rarely done.

How is it treated?
In most cases, people recover from mumps with rest and care at home. In complicated cases, hospitalization may be required.

Can mumps be prevented?
Mumps can almost always be prevented by getting a series of shots with the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two shots provide lifelong protection (immunity) against getting mumps: one at 12 to 15 months of age, the other at 4 to 6 years of age. There is also a measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine that includes a vaccine for chickenpox (varicella). This vaccine is called ProQuad and can be substituted for either or both doses of MMR.3, 4

Most babies do not become infected with mumps during their first year of life because of the short-term immunity they received while in their mothers’ womb. Before the mumps vaccine existed, mumps was a common childhood disease in the United States.

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