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Parotitis: Causes, Risk Factors, And Treatment | Hawaii Family Dental

Written by Danica Lacson on September 27, 2018

What is Parotitis?

Parotitis is the term given to infection and inflammation of the biggest of the salivary glands called parotid glands.

In addition, inflammation takes place when the tissues around the salivary glands are sore, red and swelling. Salivary glands are the ones in charge of producing saliva in the mouth. Saliva plays a very valuable role in cleansing the mouth.

So, once the salivary glands are inflamed, then a reduction in the salivary glands’ ability to work properly may probably result in mouth infections.

What causes Parotitis?

Inflamed parotitis can be caused by so many factors like radiation, different kinds of diseases, drugs, and infection.

In actuality, mumps is regarded as the most typical viral cause of this condition; however, vaccinations have made mumps an uncommon disease at present.

Furthermore, a bacterial infection in parotitis generally results from the buildup and growth of bacteria inside the salivary glands. As a matter of fact, one of the most usual causes of parotitis is poor oral hygiene or the blocking of the salivary duct.

Apart from these, certain medications for a dry mouth like antihistamines may double the risk of parotitis just like what radiation therapy (a form of cancer treatment) can do.

What are the Risk Factors for Parotitis?

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Direct or close contact with someone who is already infected with the mumps
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dehydration
  • Not being vaccinated with the MMR vaccine
  • Certain medications such as antipsychotics, antihistamines and anticholinergic

What are the signs and symptoms of Parotitis?

Parotitis’ signs and symptoms can differ. Some people are unaware that the disease was acquired while other people experience pain and swelling. Luckily, parotitis can be treated effectively with medications. It is now possible to minimize the risk of developing parotitis through drinking plenty of fluids, practicing proper oral hygiene, frequent hand washing as well as getting MMR vaccine in order to ward off mumps.

It is recommendable to seek medical care in case the symptoms are severe such as difficulty in swallowing and breathing and very high fever. In the same way, seek immediate medical care once mild symptoms are persistent and recur even when a person is already being treated for this condition.

What are the treatment options for Parotitis?

Antibiotic therapy is regarded as the pillar of treatment for this condition which is mainly caused by bacterial infection. Likewise, in the event that secondary infection takes place inside the mouth because of malfunctioning salivary glands, then, antibiotics may be prescribed.

This type of infection is detected by the presence of pus inside the mouth or fever. In case complications like abscess emerge, aspiration or surgical drainage may be necessary.

Besides carefully following what the doctor has prescribed and instructed, a speedy recovery is obtained if the following tips are adhered to.

Here are some of the important things to do to improve Parotitis:

  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Consume soft foods
  • Brush at least twice per day and practice proper oral hygiene
  • Consider gargling with warm salt water
  • Avoid tobacco use or smoking

Keep in mind that the risk of serious complications can be remarkably reduced through complying with the treatment plan your doctor has outlined especially for you.

Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.


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