Sialolithiasis – story of the salivary stone.
We all have heard of kidney stones. But
salivary stone?! Not heard of it?
What is a
Sialolithiasis is a condition that causes
stones to develop in the channels that pass saliva, also known as the salivary
ducts. Salivary stones are small deposits of calcium and other minerals. A stone can form from salts contained in the saliva. These are termed as
sialoliths.Three main groups of salivary glands are
present : submandibular(beneath the lower jaw), sublingual (beneath the tongue)
and parotid (infront of the ear).
Stones are particularly likely to form
when people are dehydrated or take drugs that decrease saliva production.
People with gout are also more likely to form
stones. Salivary gland stones are most common among adults.
What might be the symptoms?
While these stones generally cause no symptoms as they form, patients may begin to notice their existence after they reach a size that blocks the salivary ducts. When a blockage occurs, saliva starts to backflow, causing pain and inflammation. The salivary gland swells up painfully. The pain and swelling worsen after eating, particularly when people eat something that stimulates saliva flow (such as a pickle or lemon juice) because when the duct is blocked, the saliva has no place to go and the gland swells. The swelling may go down after a few hours, and the duct may release a gush of saliva. Some stones do not cause any symptom. Patients often report intermittent pain that worsens when treatment isn’t sought right away. A blocked duct and gland filled with stagnant saliva may become infected with bacteria.
What is the treatment?
For salivary gland stones, both conservative and surgical
treatment options are available. It depends on the size and severity of the
stone. Radiological and clinical evaluation is done to determine the position,
size and depth of the stone. Dental x-rays, CT, CBCT scans,USG, sialographyetc
are a few.
Medical treatment includes: pain relievers (analgesics), adequate
hydration, massaging the glands,
improve saliva flow with lemon juice or
wedges, sour candy, or a combination. Or medications to improve salivary glow
called sialogogue .
the stone does not pass on its own, or is of a bigger size, surgical
intervention is required.
The following are the options :
- Some superficial stones may be
massaged or manipulated out by the clinician.
- Deeper stones require surgical
removal, a procedure done under general anesthesia.
- A newer treatment that uses
shock waves to break the stone into small pieces is another option.
- A procedure calledsialoendoscopy,
can diagnose and treat stones in the salivary gland duct using very small
cameras and instruments.
- If stones become infected
or come back often, complete removal of the gland must be done.
So if you seem to have a sialolith or show the symptoms of it, RICHARDSONS DENTAL AND CRANIOFACIAL HOSPITAL is the go to place. Get it treated and live better.