A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Salivary Gland Stones
I had a question the other day about salivary gland stones.
A salivary gland stone — also called salivary duct stone — is a calcified structure that may form inside a salivary gland or duct.
It can block the flow of saliva into your mouth.
The majority of stones affect your submandibular glands located at the floor of your mouth.
Less commonly, the stones affect your parotid glands, located on the inside of your cheeks, or your sublingual glands, which are under your tongue.
Many people with the condition have multiple stones.
Salivary stones form when chemicals in your saliva accumulate in your duct or gland.
They mostly contain calcium.
The exact cause isn’t known.
But factors contributing to less saliva production and/or thickened saliva may be risk factors for salivary stones.
These factors include: dehydration, poor eating, and use of certain medications (like antihistamines), blood pressure drugs, psychiatric drugs, and bladder control drugs.
Trauma to your salivary glands may also raise your risk for salivary stones.
The stones cause no symptoms as they form, but if they reach a size that blocks your duct, saliva backs up into your gland, causing pain and swelling.
You may feel the pain off and on, and it may get progressively worse.
Inflammation and infection within the affected gland may follow.
If a stone is found, the goal of treatment is to remove it.
For small stones, stimulating saliva flow by sucking on a lemon or sour candies may cause the stone to pass spontaneously.
In other cases where stones are small, the health care professional may massage or push the stone out of your duct.
For larger, harder-to-remove stones, a small incision is usually made in your mouth to remove the stone.
More and more, a newer and less invasive technique called sialendoscopy is used to remove salivary gland stones.
Developed and used successfully in Europe for a decade, sialendoscopy uses tiny lighted scopes, inserted into the gland’s opening in your mouth, to visualize your salivary duct system and locate the stone.
Then, using micro instruments, a surgeon can remove the stone to relieve the blockage.
The procedure is performed under local or light general anesthesia, which allows you to go home right after the procedure.
For people with recurrent stones or irreversible damage to the salivary gland, surgical removal of the gland is necessary.
To deal with salivary gland stones, it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 8 cups of purified water daily, which cleanses and flushes your system.
*Take 5-10 alfalfa every hour or 2 to alkalize your body chemistry and address inflammation.
*Avoid refined sugar, alcohol, and dairy products.
*During an attack, drink lots of purified water. You can add freshly squeezed lemon juice and you may alternate with cranberry juice. You can try applying warmth (hot water bottle, heating pad, castor oil packs, etc.).
*If prone to these, carefully assess your diet and lifestyle with a holistic health care provider.
*Seek medical attention for painful or prolonged attacks or if fever or other symptoms develop as lodged stones are a serious concern.
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