Salivary stones, also known as salivary gland stones or sialolithiasis, are small, hard deposits of calcium that form in the salivary glands. These stones can cause pain, swelling, and infection, making it important to seek treatment. Here’s a simple and easy-to-understand guide to the treatment of salivary stones.
- Watchful Waiting
In some cases, salivary stones can be small enough to pass on their own. Your doctor may recommend watchful waiting and suggest pain relievers and warm compresses to help ease any discomfort. Drinking plenty of water and sucking on sour candies may also help stimulate saliva flow and dislodge small stones.
If the stone is too large or located in a difficult-to-reach area, your doctor may recommend sialendoscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small scope to visualize the salivary ducts and remove the stone. Sialendoscopy is usually performed in the surgery suite and has a high success rate. Over the years the scope of Sialendoscopy has expanded to include various approaches to treat even the difficult to reach and large stones which are present in the gland.
Dr Varun Rai specialises in LASER sialolithotripsy which is the procedure involving using laser to break down large stones so that they may pass from the duct.
In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a salivary stone. This is typically reserved for stones that are in a location which is inaccessible through the duct of the gland affected. Surgery may involve making an incision in the gland to remove the stone or removing the entire gland.
Preventing Salivary Stones
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent salivary stones, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Staying hydrated, practicing good oral hygiene, and avoiding foods that are high in sugar and acid may help. If you are prone to salivary stones, your doctor may recommend frequent check-ups and regular cleanings to help manage the condition.
Salivary stones can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but with proper treatment, they can be successfully managed. If you suspect that you have a salivary stone, make an appointment with us to discuss your options. With the right treatment and preventive measures, you can reduce your risk of future salivary stones and enjoy improved oral health.