Sublingual glands are salivary glands that secrete saliva through multiple ducts in the floor of the mouth. These are major salivary glands in the mouth, which are also the smallest, most diffuse, and unencapsulated ones. Similar to the other salivary glands, these glands may be blocked, swollen, or infected, which lead to various symptoms and signs.
How sublingual glands get infected?
Bacteria naturally reside in our mouth. In normal condition, the saliva periodically wash these bacteria away, so that bacterial overgrowth leading to infection can be kept under control. When due to certain risk factors the saliva is unable to wash these bacteria away properly, the risk of overgrowth and thus, clogged salivary glands rises. When salivary gland ducts are blocked, it may swell as a result of infection. Several bacteria, including the Staphylococcus bacteria are responsible for these clogs and salivary gland infection. In addition to bacterial infection, swollen sublingual glands may be caused by other risk factors, such as:
- Mumps, which is a viral infection that is common among children who have not been immunized.
- Influenza and parainfluenza virus.
- Salivary duct clogs.
- Over-dried mouth.
- Bad oral hygiene.
How to treat swollen sublingual glands
Inflammation and swelling of the sublingual salivary glands is one of the common symptoms that these glands get infected. Salivary gland stones, mucus, or bacteria overgrowth might be responsible for clogs or blocks of the salivary gland ducts leading to inflamed glands. Although everyone might suffer from infected or swollen sublingual glands, people over the age of 65 and those who are not immunized against mumps are more susceptible for this problem.
As the main cause of an infected sublingual salivary gland is clogs of the salivary ducts leading to these glands in the mouth, required treatments should be able to first, get these ducts unclogged. Prolonged blocked salivary ducts may likely to end up in swollen glands, as these clogs reduce the amount of saliva washing oral bacteria off, so that overgrowth of these bacteria may present, leading to inflammation of the entire glands.
There are some methods and things you can employ in order to treat swollen sublingual glands, which include:
Practicing good oral hygiene.
Among various types of salivary glands, the sublingual salivary glands are located in the floor of the mouth, so that proper hygiene practices are essential to get rid of the inflammation of these glands. Basic oral hygiene practices, which include gargling the affected area with non-alcohol mouthwash is very important.
Getting rid of infesting bacteria.
Bacterial overgrowth is one of the most common culprits for sublingual salivary gland infection and hence, to treat swollen sublingual salivary glands, this overgrowth of bacteria needs to be put under control. To kill infesting bacteria, you can rinse your mouth with warm saline solution. This solution will help washing bacteria out of the mouth and the salivary ducts.
Applying warm compresses to the affected glands.
Warm compresses or warm water has got a significant role in reducing swelling due to bacterial infestation in the mouth. Applying regular warm compresses or using warm water to rinse the affected glands will help stimulating proper blood circulation to the infection site, which is important for reducing swelling and inflammation.
Unclogging blocked sublingual salivary ducts.
As clogged salivary ducts is the main risk factor leading to swollen sublingual glands, it is very essential to unclog these ducts in order to promote healing to swollen sublingual glands. The easiest, most affordable method for unclogging these blocked salivary ducts and stimulating saliva production that wash bacteria away is by sucking on sour lemons or sugar-free lemon candies. Citric acid contained by lemons will help breaking the stones that clog salivary glands and thus, promote more sufficient amount of saliva your mouth requires to wash bacteria away. Lemon infused water or warm lemon water can also be consumed regularly to promote faster healing to an inflamed sublingual gland. Lemons also contain beneficial antioxidants, which are important for boosting the body’s immune system, so that inflamed sublingual glands can be brought down immediately, before developing into much worse oral problems.