Symptoms and causes

Origin

Most infections of the parotid gland are viral. Bacterial infections are often related to dehydration and a compromised immune system. They are more often seen in older people who have poorly regulated diabetes.

Symptoms

Infections of the parotid glands (submandibular salivary gland) are accompanied by:

  • general malaise
  • chewing and eating can also be painful
  • fever
  • pain
  • redness
  • swelling

These infections can be caused by an underlying obstruction (e.g. by a stone). They might also be part of any one of a number of autoimmune diseases.

If the inflammation of the parotid gland is on both sides, mumps should also be ruled out. This is no longer a frequent occurrence thanks to the vaccination campaigns.

Diagnosis and treatment

Treatment

Bacterial infections usually respond well to treatment with antibiotics. Good hydration is important and lozenges are also advisable.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Ear, nose, and throat diseases

Latest publication date: 28/06/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith