Salivary Gland Stones : How It Affects The Body ?


The medical word for salivary gland stones is "sialolithiasis" (calculi). Your salivary gland may become painful and swollen as a result of these stones. Dehydration, smoking, and a few autoimmune illnesses are among the causes. Massage, heat application, and occasionally surgery are used to treat sialolithiasis.

Sialolithiasis is a disorder in which stones (calculi) grow in the salivary gland or ducts, obstructing the passage of saliva. These stones, which are frequently composed of hydroxyapatite and calcium phosphate, can result in face discomfort and oedema. One side (unilateral) or both sides may have symptoms (bilateral).

How does this affect my body?

You have three different categories of salivary glands, including:

Pancreatic ducts. Your parotid glands, which are situated in front of each ear, are the biggest salivary glands.

Glands under the tongue. On the bottom of your mouth, beneath your tongue, are these glands.

Glands in the sub-mandible. Your submandibular glands, which are situated below your jaw and at the rear of your mouth, produce around 70% of the saliva in your mouth.

Any of your salivary glands may be impacted by salivalolithiasis.

The Wharton's duct is impacted by more than 80% of all salivary gland stones, which develop in the submandibular gland (submandibular sialolithiasis) (where your submandibular gland empties saliva into your mouth). Between 6% to 15% of salivary glands are caused by parotid sialolithiasis, whereas 2% of instances impact your sublingual and minor salivary glands.

Who is affected by sialolithiasis?

Sialolithiasis can affect anyone. Nonetheless, males and those who were assigned as male at birth (AMAB) who are between the ages of 30 and 60 are the groups with the most frequent problem. 


Sialolithiasis can be brought on by any disease that makes your saliva thick, such as:

  • Dehydration.
  • Lupus and Sjögren's syndrome are examples of autoimmune illnesses.
  • Diuretics and other specific drugs.
  • Smoking.
  • If your salivary glands are injured.
  • Oral radiation treatment

Even when there is no obvious cause, some persons experience the development of salivary gland stones.

Salivary stones themselves are not communicable. Yet, you might be able to spread a viral or bacterial infection of the salivary glands to other people.

How to check if you have Salivary Gland Stones?

The majority of stones develop in one of the glands that give saliva to your mouth, which is located behind your tongue. They are not always visible.

The stones might lead to:

  • Oral swelling that flares up sometimes, dull discomfort that comes and goes, and an infection surrounding the stone
  • If you have excruciating discomfort while you eat, the stone may be totally obstructing a saliva gland. The discomfort often lasts one to two hours.

Risk Factors

Sialolithiasis cannot be completely prevented. You may lower your risk by drinking plenty of water, quitting smoking, and maintaining good dental hygiene. Try sucking on sour candies and beginning gland massage if you begin to experience discomfort or tenderness near your salivary ducts. This will encourage the flow of saliva. This could encourage any stones to pass spontaneously.


Symptoms of sialolithiasis generally go worse after you eat and then get better again a few hours later. This is because chewing causes your salivary glands to produce more saliva, which the stone's blockage causes to back up in the gland. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the salivary glands.
  • Swallowing is difficult.
  • Difficulty opening your mouth.
  • A dry mouth (xerostomia).
  • Weird flavor.
  • An uncomfortable bump under your tongue
  • Facial discomfort or swelling, typically beneath the jaw or around the ear.
  • Sialolithiasis patients can have no symptoms at all.


There is no technique to avoid salivary gland stones because it is unclear what produces them.

They often have no connections to other health issues.

Salivary stones often do not recur, but if you continue to experience them, you may need to have one of your salivary glands removed.


Treatment for sialolithiasis is based on the size and location of the stone. Home treatments, antibiotics, in-office stone removal, and, in certain circumstances, surgery are all possible forms of treatment.

Home remedies

Salivary gland stones typically disappear on their own after receiving conservative therapy. By consuming a lot of water, applying heat, or rubbing the region, you might be able to force the stone out of your salivary duct. To increase salivation, you can also try sucking on lemon drops or other acidic candies.


Your doctor will probably recommend antibiotics if you have an infection brought on by a salivary gland stone. You should take them precisely as recommended.

Office stone removal

If natural therapies do not work, your healthcare provider could try to remove the stone by gently probing the region with a dull object.

Sialolithiasis surgery

Surgery may be necessary for larger salivary gland stones. An endoscope is inserted into your salivary duct by a surgeon during this surgery to find the stone. The stone will be taken out using a unique tool. A little incision may be required in some situations.

Excision of the salivary glands

You can occasionally need to have your salivary gland surgically removed. The use of this treatment is restricted to patients with severe, recurrent (returning) symptoms or if the stone is in an area that cannot be removed conservatively.

You can try to get rid of the stone by engaging in activities that will enhance the production of saliva, such as:

  • Sucking on lemons or lemon drops
  • Consuming a lot of water and carefully massaging the stone

If there is discomfort and swelling:

  • Suck on some ice cubes or ice lollipops when taking ibuprofen or paracetamol.

The symptoms will not go away unless the stone is removed.


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Page last reviewed: Apr 17, 2023

Next review due: Apr 17, 2025

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