Salivary Gland Infections
What’s a salivary gland infection?
A salivary gland infection occurs when a bacterial or viral infection affects your salivary gland or duct. The infection can result from reduced saliva flow, which can be due to a blockage or inflammation of your salivary duct. The condition is called sialadenitis.
Saliva aids digestion, breaks down food, and works to keep your mouth clean. It washes away bacteria and food particles. It also helps control the amount of good and bad bacteria in your mouth. Fewer bacteria and food particles are washed away when saliva doesn’t freely travel throughout your mouth. This may lead to infection.
You have three pairs of large (major) salivary glands. They’re located on each side of your face. Parotid glands, which are the largest, are inside each cheek. They sit above your jaw in front of your ears. When one or more of these glands is infected, it’s called parotitis.