Parotid Gland


The Parotid Gland is a salivary gland, shaped like an upside down triangle, found in front of both ears extending to the lower borders of jaw bones. The name Parotid actually came from a word which means “near the ear”. This gland produces saliva to moisten the mouth, to protect tooth from decay and to break down the food that we eat. Saliva draws off through a duct at the front of the said gland and then empties down to the mouth near the upper molar tooth.

Parotid Gland

The three major saliva glands are the Parotid Gland which is the largest salivary gland and can produce 50% of daytime saliva, the sub-mandibular gland found under the lower jaw and sub-lingual gland found under the tongue and they all secrete saliva into mouth. There are more than minor salivary glands aside from the 3 major ones. Those minor ones are found throughout the oral cavity.

These are the two main conditions which may affect the

Parotid Gland

:

  • Parotitis – Inflammation and Infection

When a Parotid Gland gets infected and inflamed, it is then called Parotitis. Parotitis causes redness, swelling as well as soreness to the tissues which surrounds the salivary glands. The usual symptoms of a Parotitis are fever, facial pain, dry mouth and sore throat and it is usually caused by are dehydration, poor oral hygiene and a close contact with mumps infected person. Mumps is used to be one the most common viral causes of Parotitis. On the other hand, vaccination has greatly decreased the number of the said disease these days.

Some causes of inflammation are mucus plus, bacterial infection, viral infections and other particular medical conditions like bulimia and alcoholism.

  • Parotid Gland Removal

The removal of the Parotid Glands is called Parotidectomy. The purpose of Parotidectomy is to remove cancerous tumors in the gland and get rid of abnormal growths which are called neoplasms. These neoplasms can be malignant or benign. In addition, women who are more than 60 years old may be affected by malignant growth. On the other hand, both genders can be affected by benign growth at about 40 years old.

There are two areas which are identified during the surgery: the deep lobe and the superficial lobe. Parotidectomy removal can be a partial or thorough removal. However, most authorities or professionals would usually recommend the thorough removal, especially when cancer spreads through both lobes. During the surgery, the patient will be under general anesthesia to revent pain and of course, to keep the muscles relaxed.

When the surgery ends, the patient typically stays at the hospital for about three days for an observation. What’s more, the patient will be watched for signs of hemorrhage or infection. Just like any other surgeries, there are also risks or complications which go along with Parotidectomy such as infection, blood clots or hematoma, sweating and redness in the cheek, Frey Syndrome, and facial nerve paralysis which should be minimal after a minor surgery. Most common facial nerve damages signs are having trouble winking, drinking or smiling. When those signs occur after Parotid Gland removal, you must immediately contact your doctor.

Any salivary gland diseases can be because of various causes. In addition, those diseases like in the

Parotid Gland

must be treated medically as well as surgically.