6 home remedies for salivary stones

salivary stone
Here are 6 home remedies for getting rid of salivary stones. If these remedies do not work, then surgery may be required.

You may follow a few home remedies that help remove salivary gland stones, including:

  1. Increasing the production of saliva by drinking lots of water may help dislodge the stone.
  2. Try sucking on sugar-free, hard, sour candies, such as lemon drops, or wedges of citrus fruits, such as lemons or oranges, to help dislodge the stone. However, if the stone does not dislodge, the increased saliva may worsen the symptoms.
  3. Applying gentle heat to the affected area can help reduce irritation and aid in the removal of the stone.
  4. Gently massage or rub on the affected region to relieve pain and break up the stone.
  5. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and analgesics may relieve pain and swelling.
  6. Sucking on cold substances, such as ice cubes or pops, may relieve discomfort and swelling caused by the salivary stones.

Medical treatment for salivary stones

The best treatment for salivary gland stones is surgical removal because conservative treatments may not help with most cases. The bigger the stones get, the more problems they create.

If the stone does not dislodge after following home remedies or if you experience symptoms, such as pain, swelling, or infections, seek immediate medical help.

Surgical treatment

  • After administering local or general anesthesia to the patient, the surgeon makes a tiny incision inside the mouth near the affected gland and inserts a thin tube called sialoendoscope. 
  • Small instruments that capture and remove the stone are passed through the tube.
  • The surgeon may even look and remove tiny fragments of stones present deep within the salivary gland with the help of the sialoendoscope.
  • If the stones are too big and cannot be removed by sialoendoscope, a larger incision is made on the glands to remove the stone.
  • These procedures aim to preserve the salivary gland while removing the stone.

If the salivary gland is infected or in cases of abscess formation, the abscess may be drained, and you will be treated with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and painkillers.

What are salivary stones?

Salivary gland stones (also called sialoliths) are small deposits, mostly made of calcium along with other minerals, found in the salivary gland or the salivary duct.

Salivary stones are the most common salivary gland disease, wherein these stones restrict the secretions of saliva. Stagnation of saliva accounts for nearly one-third of all salivary gland diseases.

Humans have three pairs of major salivary glands.

  1. The parotid glands are present near the ears.
  2. The sublingual gland is present under the tongue.
  3. The submandibular glands are located near the jawline at the bottom of the mouth.

Additionally, several minor salivary glands are present in the oral cavity.

Facts about salivary gland stones

  • Mostly located in Wharton’s duct of the submandibular gland
  • Uncommon in sublingual glands
  • Usually diagnosed with radiological imaging, such as

What are the causes of salivary gland stones?

There are no well-established causes of salivary gland stone formation. The stones are formed when certain chemicals, such as calcium in the saliva accumulate in the salivary duct or gland. The production of less saliva could be a risk factor for the formation of salivary stones.

Factors that may increase the risk of salivary stones are:

What are the symptoms of salivary gland stones?

The salivary gland stones may not cause any symptoms initially, but as they grow bigger, they may block the salivary duct partially or completely.

This leads to the accumulation of saliva in the salivary gland and may result in symptoms, such as:

  • Causing pain, swelling, or tenderness of salivary gland
  • Painful lump under the tongue
  • Infection and inflammation caused by stagnation of saliva in the salivary gland
  • Fever
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Foul taste in the mouth
  • Facial pain worsens during or after eating

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Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Penn Medicine. Salivary Gland Stone. https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/patient-information/conditions-treated-a-to-z/salivary-gland-stone

Dunkin MA. Salivary Gland Stones. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/salivary-gland-stones-symptoms-causes-treatments

Carle. Salivary Gland Stone. https://carle.org/conditions/salivary-gland-stone

Johnson C. Incision-Less Procedure Removes Salivary Stones in Mouth. University of California. https://health.ucsd.edu/news/features/pages/2016-07-01-incision-less-procedure-removes-salivary-stones.aspx