Salivary gland infections : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

  • Abnormal tastes, foul tastes
  • Decreased ability to open the mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Mouth or facial pain, especially when eating
  • Redness over the side of the face or the upper neck
  • Swelling of the face (particularly in front of the ears, below the jaw, or on the floor of the mouth)

Diagnosis & Tests

An examination by the health care provider or dentist shows enlarged salivary glands. Pus may drain into the mouth. The gland may be painful, particularly with bacterial infections. Viral infections such as mumps may cause painless swelling of the glands. A CT scan or ultrasound may be done if the doctor suspects an abscess.


Review Date : 3/3/2009
Reviewed By : James L. Demetroulakos, MD, FACS, Department of Otolaryngology, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. Clinical Instructor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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