Individuals don’t often think about something like a salivary gland infection as being something which requires a great deal of study. So what? You have a spit problem; is that going to kill you? Well Sialadenitis is a very real condition which people suffer from and Sialadenitis is something which has generated a great deal of discussion around the world. Sialadenitis may reveal a great deal more about you than you know. But what is Sialadenitis? How does Sialadenitis come about? What does Sialadenitis reveal about an individual? Where can folks go to get treatment for Sialadenitis? What exactly would those treatments be?
Sialadenitis: What It Is: According to WebMD.com, “Sialadenitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and enlargement of one or more of the salivary glands, the glands that secrete saliva into the mouth. There are both acute and chronic forms. Sialadenitis is often associated with pain, tenderness, redness, and gradual, localized swelling of the affected area. The exact cause of Sialadenitis is not known.”
According to emedicine.com, Sialadenitis is actually a lot more commonly identified in the “parotid gland than the submandibular gland,” though both are encountered a great deal more than they are discussed.
Acute vs. Chronic Sialadenitis: According to emedicine.com, Acute and Chronic Sialadenitis are very different conditions requiring different response. Acute Sialadenitis can be accompanied with “erythema over the area, pain, tenderness, swelling, and dehydration.” Acute Sialadenitis is not as common as chronic and can lead to infection of the submandular gland, fever and even a potentially life-threatening infection, though this is rare. Chronic Sialadenitis is less painful and “is associated with recurrent enlargement of the gland (often following meals) typically without erythema…(and is) linked to decreased salivary flow, rather than dehydration.”
Genesis of Sialadenitis: While not a lot is known about the genesis of Sialadenitis, there have been numerous studies to try and pinpoint the cause. One such recent study was with 45 smokeless tobacco users, aged 13-74. What came about from this study was interesting for folks who feel like they may suffer from Sialadenitis. “Of 45 tissue specimens, 18 included salivary gland tissue. Damage in the form of Sialadenitis and other degenerative changes in salivary glands was shown in 4 of the 18 specimens.” While the conclusion may appear to be that smokeless tobacco is a cause of Sialadenitis, the study may argue to an inconclusive end. According to the research “a consistent pattern for chronic Sialadenitis was not found among any of the age groups…four patients, ages 21,25,50, and 60 years, demonstrated either a mild, moderate, or severe salivary gland fibrosis. The authors concluded that there is no doubt that salivary gland fibrosis can be shown and that it is likely to be related to the damage from smokeless tobacco. They also commented that “It is likely that the degree of salivary gland fibrosis and degenerative change, along with Sialadenitis, may be a factor that is associated with tobacco brand rather than with a generalized reaction caused by all tobacco.” So if you have Sialadenitis, it may even reveal which brand of smokeless tobacco you use!
What Can People with Do: If you are diagnosed with Sialadenitis, you may be able to undergo a sialadenectomy. This is basically where the affected glands are reached and an incision is performed with a scalpel. Once all the important regions in the vicinity are secured, the deep part of the gland is “dissected and removed.”
Sialadenitis: Conclusion: When you’re talking about saliva you’re talking about more than just spit. Saliva is essential in digestion, keeping the oral cavity lubricated, and even being able to taste your food. So if you feel like you may have it, Sialadenitis is something which should be tended to straight away.