You probably don’t think much about your salivary glands. Perhaps you’ve never thought about them at all. They’re a small part of your otolaryngological (ear, nose, and throat) system, but they make a big difference when it comes to keeping your mouth and throat comfortable and healthy.

There are three major sets of salivary glands:

  • Under the tongue
  • On the floor of the mouth
  • On the inside of the cheeks

As well as hundreds of minor salivary glands all over your mouth and throat.

If you experience swelling, drainage, and/or in your mouth or throat, you may have an issue with your salivary glands. Possible issues include:

  • Blockage in the gland caused by crystalized salvia
  • Bacterial infection as a result of blocked ducts
  • Viral infection caused by the mumps or flu
  • Tumors
  • Autoimmune diseases such as HIV

Your salivary glands make as much as a quart of saliva each day. Saliva lubricates your mouth and throat, protects your teeth against bacteria, aids in swallowing, and is instrumental in food digestion. If you’ve ever experienced dry mouth, you know just how important salvia is.


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