Q:

Why is my sublingual (salivary) gland swollen?

A:

Sublingual salivary gland swelling can occur for several reasons that include buildup of crystallized saliva and viral infections such as the flu, according to WebMD. Swollen salivary glands are also a common symptom of the mumps, as they occur in up to 40 percent of all infections.

Factors that can cause sublingual salivary gland infections include herpes, poor oral hygiene, dehydration and radiation treatments of the neck, according to Healthline. Symptoms of an infected salivary gland include dry mouth, oral pain, facial pain, neck swelling and fever. It is important for individuals with symptoms of an infected sublingual salivary gland to consult with a physician as soon as possible, as the bacteria can travel to other areas of the body if the infection is left untreated.

In certain cases, inflamed salivary glands do not require treatment, according to MedlinePlus. However, if the glands are infected or an abscess has formed, antibiotics, needle aspiration or surgical drainage may be required. Home care remedies include rinsing the mouth with warm salt water and heat massage. Sucking on hard candy can also help to encourage saliva production and minimize swelling. Avoiding cigarette smoke and brushing the teeth twice a day can also help to promote healthy oral hygiene and encourage healing.

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