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Remember the sensation similar to that of a warm liquid flooding your tongue when you smell a deliciously baked chocolate cake? Or a freshly baked brown bread early in the morning? That is your saliva. The salivary glands present in the inner linings of the lips, cheeks and the mouth produce saliva. Saliva protects one from tooth decay, keeps the mouth moist and helps in the digestive process. Any disease that affects the saliva gland comes under the domain of ‘salivary gland disorders’.
There are three salivary glands in humans known as the Submandibular, Parotid and the Sublingual gland. The most common disorder that affects salivary glands is that of ‘blocked salivary glands’. Sialothiasis is a disorder wherein, calcium stones are formed in the salivary glands, which obstruct these glands. Obstruction of the salivary glands leads to an infection called sialadenitis, caused by strep or staph bacteria.
Sjogren’s syndrome is another condition which affects the salivary glands. In this condition, the antibodies in the body target the cells that produce saliva. This occurs mostly in women who suffer from autoimmune disorders. Viral infections are also common; flu virus and mumps are a few examples.
The symptoms of salivary gland disorders are problem specific; for Sialolithiasis, you will feel a painful lump below the tongue, which tends to aggravate when you eat. In case of Sialadenitis, there will be an odorous pus-filled discharge along with a lump beneath the chin. For viral infections, the symptoms will include muscle pain, swelling and fever. Symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome are dry eyes and mouth, joint pain, fatigue and tooth decay.
Like the symptoms, the treatments for salivary gland disorders are also problem specific. For salivary gland tumors, surgery is required. If it is a malignant tumor, then radiation therapy will be prescribed which may cause dry mouth syndrome (Xerostomia). For bacterial and viral infections, anti-bacterial and anti-viral medications are required for treatment, respectively. It is also important that you take good care of your oral health for an even more effective treatment. Brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis will help keep salivary gland disorders at bay. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Sir, I have a problem with my teeth recently bleeding in my teeth and very bad smell in my mouth please help me?
I am a 70 year old male. I have an abscess on the gum near the tooth where root canal was done last year my dentist advise to extract the tooth as it is cracked. A course of antibiotics did not reduce the swelling can I save the tooth?
I am 54 yrs. Woman. I am having pain in jaws sometimes I can't open the mouth fully, some sound comes like tak tak. What to do ?
At some times in the morning when I use to clean my tongue I am getting blood with split . I am very much worried about that .may I konw the reason and what could I do for that.
Bad breath is a condition that is also known as Halitosis in medical terms. It is mostly caused by the sulphur producing bacteria that lurk around beneath the surface of the tongue. This is what produces the foul odour. These bacteria grow with the help of protein that gets deposited in your mouth, and may develop even faster when there is poor oral hygiene at play. The causes of this protein deposit may include food debris, bleeding, mucus blood, infection and disease in the gums or oral tissues.
So how can you naturally combat this bad breath problem? Read on!
- Oral Care Products: Your very first step should be to change your oral hygiene products like toothpastes and mouthwashes in order to bring in products that are specifically used for fighting bad breath and the related causes or problems. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day, or even after every meal is an absolute necessity that one must not compromise on.
- Fibre Rich Food: It is important to have plenty of fibre rich food as this helps in preventing bad breath or Halitosis since the fibre content is known to flush toxins out effectively.
- Junk and Processed Food: Food that has too much of sugar or artificial sweeteners and food that is packaged and processed with artificial flavourings and emulsifiers, can be bad for the digestive system in general. This kind of food also tends to create bad breath and should be avoided in case you are already suffering from this condition.
- Medication: it may come as a surprise to you that there are certain medicines like antidepressants and diuretics that can lead to side effects like drying of the mouth, which in turn can cause a problem of bad breath. So, it would be recommended to steer clear of this kind of medication for a while until the bad breath problem abates.
- Tea: Drinking green and black tea can be beneficial for people suffering from this condition as both these types of tea happen to contain substances known as polyphenols that can help in fighting oral bacteria and sulphur compounds. Apart from this, one must also drink plenty of water in order to keep the mouth fresh and to help the digestion work in a better.
- Dentures and Braces: If you happen to be wearing dentures and braces, then you may want to clean these regularly and maintain good oral hygiene so that you do not suffer from bad breath.
Bad breath can be a confidence killer and one should get it checked in case it is a persistent and prolonged problem.