Sialadenitis is an infection of the salivary glands. The parotid (in front of the ear) and submandibular (under the chin) glands are most commonly affected.
It is usually caused by a virus or bacteria, obstruction, or autoimmune causes. Acute bacterial sialadenitis is characterised by rapid onset of pain and swelling. In contrast, chronic sialadenitis is characterised by intermittent, recurrent episodes of tender swelling. Painless swellings (unless secondarily infected) classically occur in autoimmune sialadenitis (i.e., Sjogren’s syndrome) and may be unilateral or bilateral.
Treatment will be adequate hydration, antibiotics, gentle massage and sialogogues. Recurrent and troublesome sialadenitis of the submandibular salivary gland rarely would necessitate removal of the affected gland.