Salivary Gland Disease

  • The salivary glands are specialized glands that produce saliva that drain into the mouth and throat

    • The major glands (parotid, submandibular, sublingual glands) are paired glands that drain into the mouth

    • The minor salivary glands are located throughout the oral cavity, palate and throat

  • The two most common problems associated with salivary gland disease include obstructive diseases (result of salivary stones or trauma) and tumors (can be either benign or malignant)

  • Salivary gland cancers are rare accounting for 3-6% of all head and neck cancers

  • Patients referred for management of salivary disease will often require advanced imaging techniques such as CT scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or ultrasound guided imaging with biopsy to help establish a diagnosis