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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


    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.