The parotid gland belongs together with the salivary glands in the mouth and throat to the salivary glands. It is referred to in the jargon as Parotis. The saliva not only prepares the food for digestion, but also ensures that the oral mucosa is kept moist. He also has antibacterial effect.
The most common causes of pain in the parotid gland are inflammation or a salivary stone. In addition to the administration of painkillers for pain relief is usually tried by massaging the parotid gland and by chewing chewing gum the salivation so stimulate that dissolve the saliva by itself.
Pain in the parotid gland can have various causes. The most common cause is a salivary gland inflammation. This is favored by bad oral hygiene and an unbalanced water-mineral household. If little saliva is produced, this represents a significant risk factor for the development of salivary gland inflammation. Since older people in particular often consume only small amounts of fluid, they are particularly at risk of developing parotid gland inflammation. Another common cause of inflammation of the parotid gland is salivary stones, called sialolites. These can be found when the composition of the saliva is changed, as it may be the case, for example, in metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, or even if too little is drunk.
Salivary stones can constrict the glandular outlets of the parotid gland and thus affect the outflow of saliva. In this accumulated saliva bacteria can then settle and lead to parotitis. They must be removed in any case with complaints.
Narrowed glandular ducts, such as pre-existing conditions such as cystic fibrosis or a childhood mumps disease can be the trigger. Certain medications that are taken in heart disease, allergies or depression may result in decreased salivary production resulting in parotitis. Alcohol can also benefit them.
More information can be found here : salivary stones of the parotid gland
Another cause of painful inflammation of the parotid gland is the childhood disease mumps. However, this virus-induced disease has become very rare since the vaccine was introduced.
Tumors can also cause parotid pain. These can be both benign and malignant, with the benign occurring much more frequently.
Pain in the parotid gland is often accompanied by swelling of the cheek. This is the case for parotid inflammation, for example. Typical is a swollen parotid gland for the childhood disease mumps, which is also an inflammation of the gland.
Pain and swelling are usually unilateral. Other accompanying symptoms are hot and reddened skin in the area above the parotid gland and tenderness of the gland. In mumps, or in rare other cases, the symptoms are bilateral. The pain usually increases during chewing, because then increased saliva is produced. Since the parotid glands border on the temporomandibular joint and the masticatory muscles, those affected can often hardly open their mouths. In addition, inflammation leads to dysphagia. As it is an infection in the body, this usually reacts with fever and swollen lymph nodes around the gland.
Pain in the parotid gland can also occur without swelling. Nevertheless, it can be a parotitis. The symptoms vary from person to person. But even small salivary stones, which narrow the excretory duct of the parotid gland, can be the cause of pain without swelling. Often, the pain occurs at night, because then the salivation is reduced. Massages of the parotid gland or sugar-free chewing gum or sweets help to stimulate the salivation and to dissolve the stones.
What one can do against the pancreatic pain depends on the cause.
This must therefore be clarified and especially in case of persistent pain or concomitant symptoms, such as fever, a doctor should be consulted. In order to detect a salivary inflammation, a blood test should be made. If confirmed, anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics are usually prescribed. If it is a bacterial infection, then an additional antibiotic should be taken. By means of an ultrasound examination, the doctor can recognize any salivary stones or tumors that may be present.
In the presence of salivary stones, special massages of the parotid gland may help to loosen and move the stones to the outside. In addition, sugar-free chewing gum or candy can stimulate the salivation and possibly trigger the saliva to drain. A sufficient amount of drinking is also important. However, this works only for smaller stones, larger saliva stones can be crushed from the outside by shock waves. This is called extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
Even through an endoscopic procedure larger stones can be removed and narrowed gland ducts are widened. If a salivary gland is constantly inflamed or if a tumor is found, it may be necessary to remove the parotid gland.
It is very important to treat inflammation of the parotid gland in good time, otherwise there is a risk of abscess and, in the worst case, of blood poisoning. Above all, care should be taken during each therapy to maintain adequate oral hygiene.
The most important thing in parotid pain is to maintain strict oral hygiene. This includes, above all, regular brushing your teeth. Also, a sufficient amount of drinking is important to ensure a good salivation. This is especially important for the elderly, as they have a reduced need for drinking. This can reduce the formation of salivary stones. In addition, chewing sugar-free chewing gum or sucking sweets can help stimulate salivation and thus contribute to a reduced risk of salivary stones. Alternatively, gherkins can be suckled, which also stimulate the salivation.