In some cases, no treatment is needed.
If there is pus or a fever, or if the infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics may be prescribed. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections.
If there is an abscess, surgery to drain it or aspiration may be done.
Practice good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth and flossing thoroughly at least twice per day may help with healing and prevent an infection from spreading. If you are a smoker, stop smoking to help with recovery.
Warm salt water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water) may be soothing and keep the mouth moist.
Drink lots of water and use sugar-free lemon drops to increase the flow of saliva and reduce swelling. Massaging the gland with heat may help.
Most salivary gland infections go away on their own or are cured with treatment. Some infections will return. Complications are not common, but they may occur.
Call your health care provider if:
Elluru RG. Physiology of the salivary glands. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2010:chap 84.
Rogers J, McCaffrey TV. Inflammatory disorders of the salivary glands. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2010:chap 86.
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