by Annie Stuart
Parotitis causes swelling in one or both of the parotid glands. These are two large salivary glands that are inside each cheek over the jaw in front of each ear. It may require treatment.
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A variety of factors can lead to an inflamed parotid gland. Causes will vary depending on whether the condition is chronic or acute. They include:
Factors that increase your chances of getting parotitis include:
Symptoms of parotitis include:
If parotitis recurs, it can cause severe swelling into the neck and can destroy the salivary glands.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. This may be enough to make a diagnosis.
Your bodily fluid may be tested. This can be done by removing fluid from the gland.
Images may be taken of structures inside your body. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Flossing and thorough tooth brushing at least twice a day may help with healing. Warm salt-water rinses can help keep the mouth moist. If you smoke, quit.
Your doctor may need to remove a stone, tumor, or other blockage. Increasing saliva flow may be all that is needed to remove a mucus plug.
To help reduce your chances of getting parotitis, take the following steps:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Library of Medicine
Public Health Agency of Canada
Acute suppurative parotitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated June 21, 2010. Accessed June 6, 2013.
Cain A. Parotitis. Net Doctor website. Available at: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/parotitis.htm. Updated October 4, 2005. Accessed June 6, 2013.
Chitre VV, Premchandra DJ. Review: recurrent parotitis. Arch Dis Child. 1997;77:359-363.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Kari Kassir, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 5/11/2013