Salivary gland stone can be one of the conditions in people which may make them worry at times. It is also known as salivary duct stone and is a calcified structure that may be formed inside a salivary gland or salivary duct. There may be some noted symptoms experienced due to salivary gland stones which may be troublesome. This current article will talk about the symptoms, along with the causes, diagnosis and treatments of salivary gland stones. We will also take a note on some of the most effective home remedies for salivary gland stones in the article. Hope you would find this a beneficial read.
Overview on Salivary Gland Stones:
Salivary gland stones are also known as Salivary duct stone. A salivary gland stone can block the flow of saliva in to the mouth. This can cause swelling and pain in the gland. There may be one or multiple salivary gland stones in the affected people.
Saliva from the salivary glands usually flow in the mouth constantly. However, sometimes the chemicals present in saliva can crystallize and form a tiny stone or stones. These stones may get lodged in the duct and cause the blockage of saliva in to the mouth. This in turn causes swelling and pain in the salivary gland. Most of the salivary gland stones affect the submandibular glands which are located at the floor of the mouth. However, less commonly, these stones also affect the parotid glands which are located on the inside of the cheeks, or the sublingual glands, under the tongue.
These salivary gland stones are made of calcium and mostly are smaller than 1 cm in diameter. Usually these stones are required to be removed; although they can sometimes be removed on their own.
Symptoms of Salivary Gland Stones:
In this section we will know about the symptoms of salivary gland stones.
Usually if the salivary gland stone is very small and not blocking the duct then you may not realize that you have the stones as there are no noticeable symptoms. However, in case of large salivary gland stones, they may be visible when mouth is wide open. Apart from this, the larger stones may show some symptoms which are discussed below.
- Dull pain and swelling, over the affected gland that may come and go. This symptom is usually experienced in case the salivary gland stone locks the duct partially and stops some flow of saliva in the mouth.
- There may be symptoms of pain and an abscess may be formed in case of severe infection of the gland due to the salivary gland stone. This can make you feel unwell.
- There may be severe pain, especially after you start eating; in case the salivary gland is completely blocked. There may also be symptoms of severe swelling along with the intense pain due to salivary gland stone.
Causes of Salivary Gland Stones:
Let us know about some of the causes of salivary gland stones here.
- It is not exactly known why salivary gland stones form. The stone formation in the salivary gland may be associated with the changes in the flow of saliva through the gland. An individual is probably more at risk of getting salivary gland stone, if saliva is reduced or thickened. This may be when he or she is dehydrated or not eating much
- Certain medications are also known to increase your risk of salivary gland stones.
Diagnosis for Salivary Gland Stones:
Below are some of the diagnosis tests and procedures known to detect salivary gland stones.
- Physical examination: Usually at first your doctor would go for a physical examination where he or she would try to find the stone when they examine your mouth. In case stone is not visible, X-ray or other diagnosis procedures may be followed.
- X-ray: X-rays can be done to see salivary gland stones. In case X-rays do not show the salivary gland stone, you may have to undergo some other advanced tests.
- MRI scans: A MRI or Magnetic resonance imaging scan is one of the diagnosis procedure used to detect salivary gland stone. This procedure uses string magnetic fields and radio waves so as to produce detailed images.
- CT scans: CT or Computerized tomography scan are useful in finding out salivary gland stones. This method of diagnosis uses X-rays and a computer so as to create detailed images of the inside of the head and neck area.
- Sialography: This is a special diagnosis procedure where a dye is injected in to the salivary gland and then it is followed by taking an X-ray. This is a special x-ray test which helps to show any abnormality in the duct or the salivary gland like the presence of salivary gland stone.
- Sialendoscopy: This is one more diagnosis procedure where there is a thin tube with a tiny light and camera on its end (or an endoscope) which is inserted in to the salivary duct so that the doctor can see in to the gland. The stone in the salivary gland if visible, can be removed at the same time.
Treatments for Salivary Gland Stones:
In this section we will talk about some of the treatments for salivary gland stones.
- Gentle Probing: Here there is a gentle probing done to the duct from inside the mouth using a thing blunt instrument which can sometimes free a stone which then falls in to the mouth.
- Therapeutic Sialendoscopy: This is a similar kind of procedure and uses a very thin tube known as endoscope, with a camera and light at the tips. The tube is pushed in to the salivary duct. If a stone is seen, then a tiny basket attached to the tube, is used to grab the stone and pull it out. This technique can successfully remove about 17 out of 20 stones. In this kind of treatment, local anaesthetic is usually injected in to the duct first so as to make this procedure painless. In some cases, where the stone is rather large, the stone is broken up first and then the fragments are pulled out
- Lithotripsy or Shock Wave Treatment: This may be one more option for treating salivary gland stone. This procedure uses ultrasound waves so as to break up stones. The broken fragments then pass out along the duct. This is indeed a new treatment for treating salivary gland stones. However, earlier it has been used in treating kidney stones. Sometimes shock waves are used to break up a large stone when therapeutic sailendoscopy is done so as to make smaller fragments for easy removal of the stones.
Home Remedies for Salivary Gland Stones:
Here we will talk about some of the home remedies for salivary gland stones.
Lemon as a Home Remedy for Salivary Gland Stones:
The lemon juice can be a great home remedy for salivary gland stones. Juice of one fresh lemon can be added in a glass and taken each morning. This is a great detoxifying drink and aids in alkalizing the body.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Salivary Gland Stones:
Apple cider vinegar is a simple tonic and an effective home remedy for a variety of illness. It aids in alkalizing the body. It is also known to be effecting in many with calcium deposits. You can use 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water sipped throughout the day.
Borax is a natural home remedy for calcium deposits. For men a typical dose of borax is ¼ teaspoon of borax in 1 litre of water to be consumed over the course of a day. This is to be done 4 days in a row and 3 days off in the week. For women, the dose is 1/8 teaspoon of borax in 1 liter of water.
Castor Oil as a Home Remedy for Salivary Gland Stones:
Castor oil is known to have excellent healing properties and is beneficial for pain relief. It can be poured in to a cloth and help against the painful and swollen area for 20 minutes, two times in a day. Apart from this, castor oil can also be massaged over the painful or swollen area.
Vitamin supplements like magnesium can be taken as a home remedy for salivary gland stones. Epsom salt can also be used for treating salivary gland stones.
Herbs as Home Remedies for Salivary Gland Stones:
Lithotrophic herbs can be used for treating salivary gland stones. These herbs aid in dissolving the salivary gland stones. Chanca piedra is often one such herb. Dandelion, Gravel root and Hydragea are other such lithotrophic herbs which can be used for treating salivary gland stones. These herbs can either be taken as tea, or in form of capsules.
Turmeric as a Home Remedy for Infected Salivary Gland Stone:
Turmeric is a wonderful herb that aids with pain, inflammation and infection. 1 teaspoon of turmeric can be mixed in milk, almond milk and taken two times in a day.
Oregano Essential Oil for Infected Salivary Gland Stone:
Oregano essential oil can be used to aid with infections caused by salivary gland stones. They can be brought in a capsule or supplement form and taken internally. One drip of oregano essential oil can also be added to 1 teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil and can be used in oil pulling or swishing in the mouth for about 20 minutes.