Salivary gland infections are viral or bacterial infections of the saliva-producing glands.
There are three pairs of major salivary glands.
- The two largest are the parotid glands, one in each cheek over the jaw in front of the ears. Inflammation of one or more of these glands is called parotitis, or parotiditis.
- Two submandibular glands are at the back of the mouth on both sides of the jaw.
- Two sublingual glands are under the floor of the mouth.
All of the salivary glands empty saliva into the mouth through ducts that open at various locations in the mouth.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Salivary gland infections are somewhat common, and they can return in some people.
Viral infections such as
Bacterial infections usually result from a blockage (such as
Review Date: 02/28/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.