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Salivary duct stones : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

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Alternate Names : Sialolithiasis

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.

Overview, Causes, & 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.

Salivary stones most often affect the submandibular glands (at the back of the mouth on both sides of the jaw), but they can also affect the parotid glands (on the sides of the face).

Pictures & Images

Head and neck glands

There are several pairs of salivary glands in different locations: a major pair in front of the ears (parotid glands); two major pair on the floor of the mouth (sublingual and submaxillary glands); and several minor pairs within the lips, cheeks, and tongue.


Review Date : 3/3/2009
Reviewed By : James L. Demetroulakos, MD, FACS, Department of Otolaryngology, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. Clinical Instructor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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