Sialadenitis is a medical condition that causes the salivary glands to become tender and inflamed. It can be a chronic occurrence, and while there are various treatment options, these depend on the cause of the inflammation. Causes can be attributed to certain viruses and bacterial strains, as well as inhibited salivary flow due to sialolithiasis or the development of calculi in the gland.1‘Sialadenitis.’ NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders), rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/sialadenitis.
Sialadenitis can affect people of any age but usually occurs in the elderly and those with weak immune systems. In most cases, the condition clears up on its own or goes away with a week or two of treatment.
1. Viral and Bacterial Causes
Viral causes of sialadenitis include a range of illnesses, such as HIV, mumps, herpes and multiple strains of influenza. Viral sialadenitis can be difficult to treat, as antibiotics are ineffective. It's usually chronic, causing inflammation and pain but no lasting damage.2‘Sialadenitis.’ Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 8 Nov. 2016, rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/7638/sialadenitis.
Sialadenitis is usually caused by bacterial infections, such as staphylococcus aureus, which present themselves as acute cases with pain that is often severe. With treatment, most symptoms of bacterial sialadenitis can resolve within a matter of days, but swelling can remain for weeks afterward. If the condition remains untreated, bacterial infections can spread to other areas and cause a number of complications.