4 Ways to Treat Salivary Gland Swelling at Home

Just like any gland in the body, the salivary
gland can become infected or obstructed with a stone causing swelling and pain. There are 2 main salivary glands in the body
called the parotid gland (in purple) located in the cheek and the submandibular gland located
under the jawline (in green). The submandibular gland drains out through
an opening under the tongue tip whereas the parotid gland drains out through an opening
in the cheek. If the gland swells due to an obstructed stone,
the salivary gland will fluctuate in size, becoming much larger with eating followed
by decrease in size after eating. But if the gland is infected, such size fluctuation
will not occur. Regardless whether the salivary gland is inflamed
due to a stone or infection, there are a few things you can start doing at home immediately
to treat this problem. #1: Drink lots of water. With water, you are trying to thin out the
saliva as much as possible to either help flush the infection out of the salivary gland
or to help push a stone out. If you are dehydrated, the saliva becomes
thicker making it harder to pass, just like it is harder to suck a milkshake compared
to water through a straw. To reiterate, drink lots of water… not just
one large cup, but multiple large cups a day. #2: Massage the area With massage, you are manually helping to
push the stone or infection out of the gland. ALWAYS massage from the back towards the front. If the parotid gland is involved, massage
from the ear towards the lip. If the submandibular gland is involved, massage
from below the ear towards the chin. #3: Use warm compresses Apply warm compresses to the affected salivary
gland. With warm compresses, you are opening up the
salivary gland to help with salivary flow. #4: Suck on sour candy Sucking on sour candy like lemon drops many
times a day increases salivary production more than any other flavor to help push a
stone out or to help flush the infection out of the gland if infected. Of course, with an infection, beyond these
four steps, antibiotics with or without steroids may be needed, so make sure you make an appointment
to see your doctor if that’s the case. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for complete
salivary gland swelling to take a few weeks to resolve.

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