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Saliva and salivary gland disorders need to be diagnosed and treated by an oral surgeon. The salivary glands are often sites of manifestations of autoimmune disorders, and saliva and salivary gland disorders can affect both the major and minor glands. Major glands include the parotid gland, which is found just below the ear, submandibular glands, which are located below the jaw and sublingual glands, which are located under the tongue. There are hundreds of smaller glands located in many other locations. These glands play a crucial role in the production of saliva, which is needed to moisten food and also maintain overall oral hygiene.
If you are struggling with a saliva and salivary gland disorder, you need to make a consultation with an oral surgeon in Richardson, TX as soon as possible. This surgeon can diagnose and assess your situation to create an action plan that will help you get your life back on the right track.
Causes of Saliva and Salivary Gland Conditions
One of the first things that an oral surgeon will need to do is to determine the cause of the condition. Only when the oral surgeon has determined the cause can he or she come up with a treatment plan that will prevent you from suffering from any symptoms again.
Some of the most common causes include:
- Obstruction due to the formation of small stones. When this happens, patients will often find that their glands will begin to swell. The small stones may either completely obstruct the flow of saliva or decrease it by a small amount that is not only noticeable but also capable of having an effect on overall oral hygiene.
- Infection, which is often brought on by an obstruction. It’s important to note that a salivary gland infection can also be caused by a sore throat or cold.
- A tumor, which can be either noncancerous or cancerous. Most tumors in these regions are often painless; however, you will notice what looks like swelling. If the tumor is cancerous, the growth will happen quickly and may be painful. Tumors can result in the loss of movement in the affected facial side.
- Other disorders, like HIV and autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome. Autoimmune diseases are much more common than you’d think in America, affecting up to 23.5 million Americans. Diabetes can also cause the salivary glands to swell up.
Depending on the cause of the disorder, the oral surgeon will need to come up with different treatment plans. For example, if the cause of the issue is a tumor, the oral surgeon may need to consult with an oncologist. However, if the obstruction is caused by small stones, the oral surgeon may only need to find a way to remove the stones.
Common Symptoms to Look Out For
It can be difficult to diagnose a saliva and salivary gland disorder by yourself, which is why it is important to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. Only a medical professional can provide you with an accurate diagnosis. With that said, many patients are at a loss as to when they should schedule a consultation. In general, most experts recommend scheduling a consultation if you experience the following symptoms:
- A bad taste in your mouth. This could be due to a lack of saliva, which is needed to clean your mouth. Without saliva removing unwanted food particles and even germs, you might start to notice that you constantly have a bad taste in your mouth even if you brush regularly.
- Difficulties opening your mouth due to swelling. The difficulties can come from tumors or even the presence of salivary stones. You may or may not experience pain. It will be dependent on your individual situation.
- Dry mouth can also be the side effect of using certain medications or aging. If you’ve noticed the dry mouth symptoms after beginning a new medication, let the professional know ahead of time.
- Persistent pain in the mouth or face. This severity of the pain can vary quite significantly from one patient to another. Some patients may experience excruciating pain while others may describe their pain as a consistent ache.
- Swelling of the face or neck under the tongue. Once again, the degree of the swelling can vary significantly from one patient to another. It will also depend on the underlying cause behind the swelling. For example, swelling brought on by salivary stones will be different from swelling brought on by a tumor. The swelling also may or may not be accompanied by pain.
A good idea is to make detailed notes of the symptoms that you experience. This can include the severity of the pain through different days, as well as whether the symptoms worsen or get better if you partake in specific activities. The more information that you have about your symptoms, the better. These notes can really help a professional come up with an accurate diagnosis.
We Can Treat Your Condition!
If you are struggling with a saliva and salivary gland disorder, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to suffer silently. Contact NexGen Oral MaxilloFacial and Reconstructive Surgery Center today at 817-893-2662. We provide a wide range of oral surgery services in Richardson, TX, from salivary gland disorder treatments to bone grafting and oral and tongue biopsy and reconstruction. During the consultation, one of our oral surgeons will take a look at your situation to provide you with an accurate diagnosis.
Here, at NexGen Oral MaxilloFacial and Reconstructive Surgery Center, the well-being of our patients is our top priority. We provide individualized treatment to all patients in Richardson, TX and are happy to walk them through each and every step of the process, from preparations to aftercare. More importantly, we accept Medicare and most major medical and dental insurances, so getting the treatment that you need won’t put a huge dent in your finances. We can also help you look at other options as well.