The submandibular glands secrete thin & sticky components of saliva.
These glands can often become clogged and swollen in times of infection and dehydration. Typical situations include times of illness with poor drinking and eating, hospitalizations where fluid may be restricted, severe dieting & exercise, or generalized viral infections in general. Calcified stones can develop in these glands, clogging the ducts and causing back-up, swelling, pain and secondary infection.
Home medical care includes hydration, warm soaks and massage, and sialogogues (sour candy or lemon). Physician medical care includes antibiotics and steroids.
Surgical intervention involves removing the gland in the operating room. It is an outpatient procedure that ultimately leaves a small neck scar that is hard to see. Loss of the gland will not affect eating, taste, or mouth dryness.
Newer interventions can include endoscopy of the ducts, micro-snares to remove stones, balloons to dilate ducts, and injection of medications into the ducts.