Sublingual glands are salivary glands present in the mouth. There are two sublingual glands on the floor of the mouth just below the tongue. Sublingual gland along with other salivary glands plays a vital role in keeping your mouth moist. Besides sublingual gland, the other two pairs of salivary gland are parotid gland and submadibular glands.
Parotid glands are located on both the cheeks in front of the ears; submandibular glands are situated at the back of the mouth. All of them secrete saliva and release it in the mouth at different locations.
What Causes Swollen Sublingual Glands?
Often, sublingual gland gets swollen due to presence of stone. When the stone obstructs the emptying of saliva in the mouth, saliva gets accumulated in the gland and leads to swelling of the gland. It is often a painful swelling. You can feel the swollen sublingual gland below the tongue.
Infection is another reason for the sublingual gland to swell. Bacterial infection or an abscess of the sublingual gland can be a painful condition. Often it occurs as a result of blockage of the salivary duct by salivary stone. It can also result from poor oral and dental hygiene. Infected tooth can pass on the bacteria in the salivary gland leading to its swelling and inflammation.
Dehydration is responsible for dryness of mouth and less production of saliva which may affect salivary gland to swell.
Rarely, a mass or tumor can cause sublingual gland swelling. The tumor can be benign or malignant. With biopsy, the doctor will be able to determine if the abnormal mass is malignant or benign.
Swollen Sublingual Gland Symptoms
In most cases of sublingual gland swelling you may be able to palpate the gland. It is a painful condition, especially when you eat. There is foul taste in the mouth. If the cause of swelling is bacterial infection there may be associated redness on the upper side of the neck. Fever is present if the sublingual gland swelling is due to bacterial infection. You may find difficulty in opening the mouth. There may be associated body ache. Your mouth becomes dry.
Dental X-ray, MRI, CAT scan and biopsy are the test that may help in determining the reason for sublingual gland swelling.
Treatment For Salivary Glands Infections
In some cases of sublingual swelling you may not require any treatment.
Certain lifestyle changes and home remedies might be helpful in such situation.
- Warm salt water gargling and rinse at least three time in a day is beneficial in relieving the pain. It also keeps your mouth moist. To prepare warm water rinse at home, warm in glass of water and add ½ tsp of salt. Let the salt dissolve completely before you rinse your mouth with it.
- Stop smoking if you are smoking as it aggravates the condition.
- You can suck lemon candies or a lemon to increase the saliva flow.
- Massaging over the swollen gland may help to reduce the swelling and improve the flow of saliva.
- Drink enough water, at least 8 glasses per day to prevent dehydration.
- If there is an abscess and fever, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and drain the abscess surgically.