Swollen Parotid Gland

Jodi_SoCalFebruary 7, 2008

Anyone ever had a swollen parotid (salivary) gland? It's the gland that sits between the jawline and ear.

Mine is very swollen and painful and I'll probably head to the Urgent Care after work. I wanted to see if anyone else has had this happen to them, why did it happen and how was it treated.

It is only the gland that hurts. It feels similar to when I had the Mumps 48 years ago. There is no pain in my mouth and no aching teeth. My ear does not hurt at all but feels the pressure on it inside and sound is a bit muffled.

I noticed it yesterday morning but thinking back it's been somewhat tender for about a week. It all started after I shelled and ate an entire bag of sunflower seeds. :-)

Jodi-

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alisande

I've had a sore, swollen salivary gland a couple of times, years ago. Both times the dentist told me it was related to a localized gum infection or a problem with a tooth.

Good luck with yours, Jodi.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 3:12PM
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cate52

Funny you should ask -- yup, my family doc referred me to an ENT. Mine has been swollen for about 6 weeks -- figured it would either go down or not by the time of my regular appointment.
ENT thinks it's either, salivary stones - calcified spit I think - or could be tumor [generally benign - but ya gotta look to make sure] Mine is coming out next Tuesday as an outpatient - told to plan on being off work & no lifting for about a week..
Did/does it swell up after eating something sour? Google Salivary Stones & you'll find more info.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 3:23PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Susan, was there any treatment for it? I've checked and poked and prodded and there is no pain in my mouth or gums.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 3:24PM
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Silverdove

I haven't had a swollen gland since I was five years old, but I seemed to have constant problems when I was that age.

The family doctor treated it with penicillin without finding out what caused the problem. I sometimes wonder what kind of infection I had.

That was nearly 57 years ago and I have never been bothered again.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 3:33PM
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cate52

My ENT prodded and felt two hard spots -- thus the 'stones' - but that was with one hand in my mouth & one on the underside of my jaw. In the past, mine has swollen up & then gone down... I think I got sent on to the ENT because it had been swollen for 6-8 weeks.. and still is...

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:29PM
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carol_in_california

I have had that.....doc decided I had a narrowing of my parotid duct and some gravely like stones......told me to drink lots of fluids and eat sour things to help clear the duct. I still have problems off and on.
Last time I had swelling in that area, it turned out to be a very virulent strep infection requiring intensive treatment.....was told it did not affect my parotids but the tissue around it. It you start getting a fever or chills, get seen immediately. I almost ended up in the hospital.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:45PM
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alisande

Jodi, I was having extensive dental work done at the time, so I assume whatever was causing the problem was fixed at the time.

I remember now that the dentist said the tooth (or gum) was draining into my salivary gland.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:57PM
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Jodi_SoCal

I've been doing some research on the subject and many of the things I'm reading say it should be painful to eat anything that makes you salivate. There is no pain anywhere except the actual swollen lump no matter what I eat. Even though it feels huge to me, most people wouldn't even notice the lump. What concerns me is that my ear feels like something (a lump perhaps? :-) is pushing on the canal.

I drink a great deal of fluids (watered down apple juice) all day long. If I drink any more than that I'll have to set up office in the restroom handicap stall. :-)

Jodi-

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Happy_Go_Lucky_Gayle

I've got a similar problem undiagnosed yet. There is a swollen area but I also choke and cough. Cough drops soothe it. But, we haven't figured out what it is yet. It was not helped by Allergy Meds. I'm suppose to go back for a follow up. I also finished 14 days of Prylosec to rule out Acid Reflux by Doctor's request.

So, now I guess I'll get sonogram or x-rays. Whatever they do at this point.

Gayle

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 5:33PM
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petaloid

I had something like you describe, Jodi, with a couple of salivary glands on the right cheek where the jaw opens. The doctor sent me to Ear Nose & Throat, as I recall, where they did a needle biopsy and found nothing. I received no treatment, and most of the swelling subsided over the course of a couple of months.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 5:41PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Months??? It hurts, I want it gone now! :-)

I just made an appt for tomorrow morning with a PC doctor.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 6:03PM
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bigfoot_liz

not to scare you or anything but june 28, 2005 my parotid gland became infected w/ staph from a dental cleaning. took 3 days for my jaw/neck to swell like mono which was what i was sure i had since next to my expertise in plants my double major was in microbiolgy/virology lol. my internist listened to my Dh luckily and decided it was the cleaning and then it took almost 2 weeks to get a positive culture back, staph is extremely difficult to culture. that's all i'll say definitely get yourself to a doc... ~ liz

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 7:44PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Saw the doctor this morning and he feels it is not a swollen/blocked/infected salivary gland. He thinks it's a swollen, possibly infected lymph node. I was given anti-biotics and pain medication. If I'm not feeling better by next Tuesday, I have to be seen again.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 1:35PM
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teresava

My friend was eating lunch and she thinks bit down really hard on the inside of her cheek. It immediately swelled up-to the point it was noticeable to anyone. She almost went to the ER for an allergy. Luckily she worked for a denist that said it wasn't an allergic reaction, but her salivary gland. It seems like he checked it and drained it (??) and it was back to normal in a few days.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 2:21PM
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kathi_mdgd

I had that last year,thought i had the Mumps.Doc told me to suck on those lemon sour candies,and i think he gave me some meds,can't remember what though.
Kathi

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 4:47PM
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Happy_Go_Lucky_Gayle

Update on my Throat Problem. I went to the Doctor after trying Prylosec, Benadryl and Nasal Sprays and still having pain. No temp no infection. Just the coughing, hacking and sneezing. Coughing so hard that I throw up. It has been so annoying.

Today the Doctor gave me a Steriod Injection, if it doesn't clear up in 10 days I go to a ENT for tests.

I'm praying this works.

Gayle

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 5:14PM
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alisande

Jody (and Gayle, if you see this), are you all better now?

Susan

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 2:22PM
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marygailv

I just got through with this. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic and told me to suck on sour candy.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 2:30PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Thanks for asking MaryGail, it's been 10 days and I'm just about done with my anti-biotics. The pain has subsided and about 90% of the swelling. I should be good as new in a few days. Okay, not "good as new", that would be unrealistic, but pretty darn close. :-)

Jodi-

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 3:54PM
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Happy_Go_Lucky_Gayle

Glad you are better Jodi.

I am still battling this crazy "thorn" in my throat feeling. Tomorrow it will be 10 days since my Steroid Shot. I'm surpose to call for an appointment if it isn't better. I'm not sure but it might be a tad better. I'm gonna give it a couple of more days, just in case, so I don't have to swollow that camera scope.

Gayle

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 6:04PM
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Happy_Go_Lucky_Gayle

Glad you are better Jodi.

I am still battling this crazy "thorn" in my throat feeling. Tomorrow it will be 10 days since my Steroid Shot. I'm surpose to call for an appointment if it isn't better. I'm not sure but it might be a tad better. I'm gonna give it a couple of more days, just in case, so I don't have to swollow that camera scope.

Gayle

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 6:06PM
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Linda Wayman

Glad you're feeling better Jodi.

Gayle, young lady, you hurry up and get better too or else git yourself to the doctor.

Linda

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 6:28PM
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containergal2009

I doubt any of you who have written will see this because it's been 4 years, but maybe someone will see this:) I have had that problem too and after several years I went to a rheumatologist. They work with people who have auto-immune diseases. There is an auto-immune disease out there that starts with the swelling of the salvary glands. The disease slowly kills all your moisture producing glands. You can get tested for it in your blood. The other symptoms besides the swollen glands are dry mouth, like it's hard to eat crackers or bread or chips without choking or needing a drink to wash it down. Your teeth rot easier, your skin gets dry, you sweat less, your lips gets chapped all year long, not just in winter. Sometimes you feel so tired you can't stand up and sometimes your muscles ache. Your eyes get real dry and they burn and feel like sand is in them and they emit white stuff all the time, which is the oil left over from having not much tears to mix with it. You get sick easier and all the symptoms come and go, come and go. You might have some , all, or none of the other symptoms, but it's worth a blood check from a rheumatologist that knows what he's looking for. the disease is called Sjogrens Syndrome. Hope this helps someone. Most people who have it don't get diagnosed until they have had it for 7 or 8 years on average

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 8:35PM
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NewOrleans1852

I had a tooth cleaning and 2 weeks later experienced a swollen parotid gland. Every time I ate or drank anything except water it would swell up and become painful. I was given 2 different kind of antibiotics over a 3 week period that took the swelling down. It took about 2 months for the symptoms to go away completely. My ENT told me to suck on lemons but that didn't help. Both an Urgent Care Dr. and the ENT said they didn't think it was anything to do with the cleaning but I'm really wondering. My health overall is great and I am in my early 50's. I've never experienced anything like this before. Has anyone else had this trouble after a dental exam, cleaning?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:56PM
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o_alhussaini_hotmail_com

Hello everyone, i think i have a swollen parotid gland and i am not sure what it is from, its not that painful and barely visable but i know its there and its really annoying and worrying so i am just wondering if i should just relax and see what happens in a couple of days becuase i have no other symptoms but that swelling, i amso have my wisdom teeth coming out and maybe its from that, also just got back from a long trip and flight which i may got dehydrated from and when i got back a had a smoke and i thnk that might just made it worse (weed) please someone help me i heard that apple cider vinegar helps with the swelling

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 8:22AM
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KILAPH

In MY case my chronic parotid gland-swelling (and infections) have been due to "SJOGRENS SYNDROME", an autoimmune disorder impairing the salivary (and tear) glands from working properly (ie INSUFFICIENT fluids produced). As with many autoimmune diseases, it mostly affects females. But I'm NOT female, and have multiple autoimmune disorders (diagnosed at age 53, now 66). The parotid "issues" HAVE to be followed up by you (!!), for while they're often manageable, they CAN BE much (much!) more serious. So you have to be attentive to the problem. Docs needed = rheumatologist, ENTs and even a maxillofacial-oral surgeon. Start w/ a rheumy first and go from there. Good luck. Now that I have found this site, I'll keep you all informed. SJOGRENS-S is a permanent situation. You got it for life..........so don't think you can 'wish it' away.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:31AM
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jannie

I've had this, hurts like heck, apply a hot wet compress to your jaw and take pain killers. Feel better fast!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 8:47AM
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jemdandy

How to tell if its mumps - eat a sweet pickle. If this locks your jaw, it is mumps. (I suppose it is the vinegar that causes the reaction.)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 2:31AM
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emma

I think my son had a problem with those. The doc asked if he had been sick with a cold or anything and he had been. He said it has settle in his glands and will go away on it's on.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:06AM
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alisande

This thread is from 2008. Sure hope Jodi's issue with her parotid gland is in the distant past.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 5:24AM
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Jodi_SoCal

Goodness, I remember absolutely nothing of this post. I do wish I had mentioned which side the swelling was on because here it is four years later and I lost a good portion of my hearing suddenly in my right ear back in March. hmmm. I wonder if it's all related.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:23PM
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alisande

Did you end up going to Urgent Care, Jodi? They would probably have a record showing which side the problem was on.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Jodi_SoCal

No, I saw my GP and that was at Kaiser which I am no longer a member having changed to Aetna this year. I might be able to go back though and look through my old records.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:08PM
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carol_in_california

With a blocked parotid glamd, eating a sour pickle will cause immediate pain and swelling....not just mumps.
I still get a blockage occasionally but eating something sour, enduring the pain and biding my time works well.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:29PM
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KHiller1

I have had this problem since July. I was at breakfast with some friends and I felt my gland/neck slowly swelling and when I looked in the mirror, I almost fainted at how large they were. That same day my mother took me to the Emergency room and the doctor diagnosed me with an ear infection. She sent me on my way with some ear drops. On the way home my mother treated me to lunch at wendy's and I took one bite of my chili and I could see the look of my mother's face when my glads swelled up like balloons. She took me back to the ER and they did a catscan of my neck/jaw. She suspected salivary gland stones but the scan showed nothing. She sent me home with antibiotics and since then I have been to multiple ENT's and they all say that I have an infection. They send me with antibiotics and then in a couple weeks to a month, it's back again. Ive done everything from a hot compress to literally sucking on a lemon. Even saying the word "lemon" hurts. Some days at work I'll be completely fine and other days it hurts me all day long. What is wrong with me?! I dont want to go back to the ENT or hospital becuase I am STILL paying off bills from the last time, but I do not want to live with this any longer. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:33AM
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alisande

KHiller, could this be allergy related? That's the first thing that occurred to me when you described two immediate reactions to restaurant meals. If no one has looked into this possibility, I would check it out.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:42AM
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jannie

I've had this condition a couple of times. Warm wet heat helps. I am prone to stones- had a kidney stone many years ago. docs recommend drinking plenty of water- one to two liters a day.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:54PM
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chisue

These and the lymph glands in my neck are often swollen a bit. My MD says 'nevermind', that my use of Advair for my asthma weakens my immune system -- and this is a side effect.

I was so happy when these glands all 'disappeared' while I was on an antibiotic for pneumonia. But...that's worn off, and they are a little tender again.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Coleen64

Ok, I took a nap today, and when I woke up I didn't feel quite right, so I thought it may be because I haven't eaten, so I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while I ate it I could feel this swelling in my jaw right in front of my ear. I called my niece who is a L&D nurse, sent her picks she didn't have a clue. (She delivers baby's) so I started researching it. I have no insurance so I can't just call a doctor, so I applied heat and it when down like 90%. I just had a snack Doritos , and bam it swelled within seconds. I feel a lot of pressure in my ear and my jaw is sore/ tender to touch. Don't know what I should do. Going to the ER will only be a temporary fix. Any advise?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:37PM
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carol_in_california

Sounds like a blockage in a small duct of one of the parotid glands.
I have had that off and on for a long time. ENT doc says there is a surgery but unless the swelling and pain last for over 24 hours not to worry.
The ER docs won't have a cure.
Feel better.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:18PM
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Coleen64

The swelling goes down about 90%, it swelled up 3 times yesterday every time I ate. It freaked me out the first time it happened, I put heat on it and it slowly goes down. I guess I'll just continue doing what I'm doing. If it gets too painful I guess I'll go to the ER. Thanks for replying.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 8:49AM
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