I have a swelling in my salivary glands or right below my right jaw near the neck? Everytime I eat or drink something it swells and hurts. Is this curable with medication?

One possible reason for your symptoms is an infection of the salivary glands. From your description, it seems that the parotid salivary glands located in each cheek near the jaw and in front of your ears have been infected. Also known as parotitis or parotiditis, such an infection could have been caused by a number of reasons. For example, a viral infection may cause mumps or a bacterial infection may result in a blockage or stones in the salivary ducts and cause an inflammation.

If you experience any of the following symptoms along with a pain while swallowing, it is highly likely that you have contracted an infection:

  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Pain around the area of the gland
  • Skin that is reddened
  • Swollen face

Consult with your doctor or even your dentist to confirm this diagnosis. If required, you may have to do a CT scan or an ultrasound to detect the presence of an abscess or tumor if the infection has escalated. Abscesses or tumors may also require surgery to drain the area and stop the infection.

However, in most cases, enlarged salivary glands do not require any specific treatment or medication and the infection tends to disappear on its own. Only in cases where there is fever or there is pus present, an antibiotic course will be prescribed. For viral infections though, antibiotics prove useless.

The best way to prevent and control symptoms of an enlarged salivary gland is by:

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene - This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly.
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce inflammation and pain by rinsing your mouth with a glass of warm water mixed with half a teaspoon of salt. Do this thrice or four times a day until the swelling decreases.
  • Keep the mouth moist by drinking lots of water. You can also increase the flow of saliva and encourage the removal of any blockage by sucking on sour sweets such as lemon drops.
  • Apply a warm compress to the glands to help relieve pain.

answered by A S

You may have tiny deposits in the ducts of your parotid gland. You could have a food sensitivity which triggers an immune reaction. You could have a dental infection which is activating an immune response. You could have a variety of other causes. Seek the advice of a trained health care practitioner to take a history, perform a physical exam, identify the cause and provide you with some treatment recommendations.

answered by Dr K B N

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