The salivary duct stone is a mass of crystallized minerals which form in the tubes in which saliva passes through after it is made in the salivary glands. Salivary duct stones are also known as sialolithiasis. It mainly happens in the middle aged adults and the stone is often referred to as salivary duct calculus. This is the most common cause for the blockage of salivary glands. This condition is causing mouth pain so doctors and dentists can diagnose it and they can give you a medical treatment if it is required.
The salivary duct stones are causing serious problems in rare cases and often they can be treated at home. We have 3 pairs of major salivary glands in the mouth. Usually, salivary duct stones are happening in the ducts which are connected to the submandibular glands. These glands are located on the both sides of the jaw in the back of the mouth.
Also salivary duct stones can form in the ducts which are connected to the parotid glands. These glands are located on each side of the face in the front of the eyes. It is known fact that the salivary duct stones which are happening in the submandibular glands are bigger compared to the salivary duct stones which are formed in the parotid glands.
It is known that you can have one or more salivary duct stones in your duct. There are some studies in which are shown that about 25% of people who have salivary duct stones develop more than one stone. Usually, the salivary duct stones are removed without causing any complication. If you continue to develop salivary gland infections or salivary duct stones, then your doctor can recommend you a surgery for removing the affected gland. You have many other salivary glands so you will have enough saliva even one salivary gland is removed.
But you should know that those surgeries for removing salivary duct stones are having a risk. Those nerves which are controlling many facial movements and sweat production are running near or through the major salivary glands. You need to talk with your doctor about the risk for these surgeries if you are going to surgery for removing salivary duct stones.
The pain in the face, mouth or neck which becomes worse just before or during meals is the main symptom of salivary duct stones. This is happening because salivary glands are producing saliva to facilitate eating. When the produced saliva cannot flow through a duct, then it backs up in the gland which is causing pain and swelling. Some of the other common symptoms of salivary duct stones are swelling and tenderness in the neck, mouth or face.
Also you can have a dry mouth and trouble opening or swallowing your mouth. When the gland is filled with stagnant saliva, then the bacterial infection can happen. The signs of infection are including redness over the affected area, a foul taste in your mouth and fever. If you have some of the mentioned symptoms of salivary duct stones, then you need to talk with your doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor will examine your head and neck to check salivary duct stones and swollen salivary glands. Also your doctor can make imaging tests to get more accurate results. If you have used some medications or home remedies for your salivary duct stones, then you need to tell your doctor.
There are some substances in the saliva, such as calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate which can crystallize and form stones. These substances can range in the size, from a few millimeters to more than 2 cm. When these stones block the salivary ducts, then your saliva builds in your glands which are making the glands to swell. It is not known the reason why the stones form in the first place. There are some factors which can increase your risk of getting salivary duct stones, such as
- You are not eating enough food, which causes a decrease in saliva production
- You are dehydrated, as this makes your saliva more concentrated
- You are taking certain medications, such as blood pressure drugs and antihistamines, which reduce the amount of saliva produced by your glands