Acute sialadenitis

An acute infection of the salivary glands can occur whenever the salivary flow rate is too low or salivary flow is completely absent. The most common causes for this are dehydration (the patient does not drink enough), obstruction of a salivary duct, (salivary stones, salivary duct stenosis), side effects of pharmaceutical drugs which cause dryness of the mouth or bad oral hygiene.

Alpha- amylase
An important enzyme in saliva that breaks down starch into sugar.

Chronic sialadenitis
A chronic salivary gland inflammation can develop where acute sialenitis becomes a recurrent condition. Over time the architecture of the gland changes and less saliva is produced.

Duct ectasia
Expansion of the salivary duct. Top

Endoscopic dilation
Detecting an obstruction (salivary duct stenosis) with a sialendoscope and dilating the section with mechanical instruments or by laser.

Endoscopic laser lithotripsy
This procedure shatters the salivary stone into fragments using a glass fibre that directs a high energy laser beam.

Endoscopic polypectomy

Detecting a salivary duct polyp with the sialendoscope and removing it through the duct system.

Extracorporal lithotrypsy
Shattering a stone, usually with "shock waves" from outside the body.

Glandula parotis 
Parotid gland.

Glandula sublingualis 
Sublingual gland.

Glandula submandibularis 
Submandibular gland.

Hilum (or hilus) of the salivary gland
This is the point of the gland where the nerves and vessels enter and also where the excretory duct enters. Top

Intraglandular salivary stone
A salivary stone that is not in the excretory duct, but in a branch of the ductal system within the salivary gland.


Shattering a salivary stone.

Marsupialisation of the salivary duct
This surgical technique involves opening or slitting either the entire excretory duct or just a section, and suturing or stitching the walls of the passage to the base of the mouth. This is usually done to remove a salivary stone from the base of the mouth. Nowadays this operation can be avoided with the use of endoscopic techniques (see interventional sialendoscopy).  Top

Mucous retention cyst
Dilation of a salivary duct caused by an accumulation of saliva at an obstruction in the duct. The obstruction is usually a salivary stone.

Papilla of the salivary duct
The point at which the excretory duct of the salivary gland enters the oral cavity. At this point there is a small elevation in the oral mucosa. As the papilla is the last narrow point in the salivary duct before the oral cavity this is often where small salivary stones are found. They can then be felt directly under the oral mucosa.

Papilla stenosis
Narrowing of the excretory duct of a salivary gland at the point at which it enters the oral cavity.  Top

Polyp of the salivary duct
Excrescence of the salivary duct which can either obstruct or completely block the duct, in the same way as a salivary stone or salivary duct stenosis.

Retention cyst of the sublingual gland filled with saliva.

Recurrent sialadenitis
Inflammation of the salivary gland that recurs.

Inflammation of the salivary gland.

Sialendoscopy (salivary duct or salivary gland endoscopy)
The excretory ducts of a major salivary gland are inspected with thin glass fibre optics.

Radiographic presentation of the salivary gland ducts with contrast agent.

This term refers to the presence of salivary stones.

This is either a cyst in the tissue of the salivary gland filled with saliva, or an accumulation of saliva in the excretory duct of the gland before an obstruction (salivary gland duct stenosis or salivary stone).  Top

Sjögren syndrome 
An auto-immune rheumatoid disease which affects not only the salivary glands, but also the lacrimal glands (that produce tears), resulting therefore not only in extreme dryness of the mouth, but also in reduced to absent tear production, causing serious problems for sufferers (Sicca syndrome). It is often associated with rheumatoid inflammation of the joints and muscles.

Salivary gland abscess
This can develop from a salivary gland inflammation if not treated in due course with antibiotics. This dangerous disease requires immediate hospitalisation.

Salivary ductal stenosis
Stricture of a salivary gland duct caused by shrinkage of the connective tissue, usually as a result of chronic inflammation.

Salivary duct reconstruction
Reconstruction an of opened salivary duct by suturing the walls and splinting with a drainage tube.
Stenon duct (also known as Stensen’s duct)
The excretory duct of the parotid gland.

Stensen's Duct
The excretory duct of the parotid gland.

Wharton’s duct
The excretory duct of the submandibular gland.


Dryness in the mouth. Top