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Salivary duct stones

  • Definition

    Salivary duct stones are crystallized minerals in the ducts that drain the salivary glands. Salivary duct stones are a type of salivary gland disorder.


    Alternative Names

    Sialolithiasis


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Saliva (spit) is produced by the salivary glands in the mouth. The chemicals in saliva can crystallize into a stone that can block the salivary ducts.

    When saliva cannot exit a blocked duct, it backs up into the gland, causing pain and swelling of the gland.

    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.
    • 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.

    Salivary stones most often affect the submandibular glands, but they can also affect the parotid glands.