Salivary glands are glands found in the mouth that makes saliva. The glands can be classified into two groups – major and minor salivary glands. Major salivary glands consist of three paired glands – the parotid, submandibular and sublingual glands while the minor ones are countless small glands located throughout the mouth. Saliva is essential for the normal functioning and health of the mouth. Disorder of salivary glands function can lead to oral disease, for example tooth decay and gum disease.
The most common cause of a salivary gland lump is mumps, which usually affects children and typically causes painful swellings on both sides of the face. However there are many other causes of swelling in the salivary glands, for example salivary gland infection, salivary gland cancer, systemic diseases and drugs. Continue reading