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Salivary Gland Disorders

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What are Salivary Glands?

These are glands which are found in the mouth, lips and surrounding the jaws next to the cheeks and under the tongue. They are responsible for secreting saliva which keeps our mouths moist and helps lubricate our food when we chew.

Soft lumps on the lower lip and under the tongue are called mucoceles.
Soft lumps on the lower lip and under the tongue are called mucoceles Soft lumps on the lower lip and under the tongue are called mucocelesSoft lumps on the lower lip and under the tongue are called mucoceles

How do Salivary gland disorders arise?

Most salivary gland disorders arise either through trauma (e.g. accidentally biting your lip), obstruction (i.e. Stones), inflammation or tumours. They appear as a soft lump in the lower lip or under the tongue. Sometimes they may appear as firm lumps in the palate or in the neck along the jaw line.

Salivary stones may block saliva outflow resulting in swelling of the gland.
Salivary stone - Image 1 Salivary stone - Image 2

What does Treatment involve?

Mucoceles are surgically removed together with associated glands. Salivary stones can be removed from the duct provided they are not too deep, or else the whole gland is removed if it is damaged beyond repair. Tumours are often surgically removed.  Please make an appointment if you think you have any of these signs.

Firm lump or chronic ulcer in the palate that has been present for 1 month or more suggests a salivary gland tumour.
Chronic ulcer - Image 1 Chronic ulcer - Image 2