There are three pairs of glands that produce saliva. Two in front of the ear, two under the chin, and two under the tongue. These glands open into the mouth with salivary gland ducts. In addition to these large glands, there are hundreds of smaller glands on the soft palate, lip and inner cheeks. The saliva produced by these salivary glands keeps the mouth moist, initiates digestion and protects the teeth from decay. Small stones may form in the salivary glands in some people. The exact cause of salivary gland stone formation is not known. Excessive fluid loss, infections and certain medications are blamed. Stone formation is most commonly observed in the salivary glands under the chin.
It occurs when painful swelling occurs on the cheek or under the chin while eating. Especially sour and acidic foods that stimulate saliva secretion cause more pronounced swelling in the salivary glands. If the salivary gland duct is not completely blocked, these painful swellings will gradually shrink after eating.
A simple ear, nose and throat examination is first performed in patients who apply with the complaint of salivary gland swelling. Stone is seen on ultrasound. If necessary, tomography may be requested. The inside of the salivary gland duct can be looked at with the endoscopic method. In this case, both diagnosis and treatment can be carried out simultaneously.
In the past, in the treatment of salivary gland stones, the affected salivary gland was surgically removed. Today, with the help of an endoscope, which can enter through the ducts of the salivary gland, these stones can be removed and removed from the duct by protecting the salivary gland. Some large stones can be cut into smaller pieces by laser and removed from the canal. Rarely, very large stones do not allow this method, in which case the salivary gland is surgically removed. The patient can return to normal diet and daily life on the same day after sialendoscopy.