Salivary Glands

What are they?

The salivary glands are responsible for producing saliva, which plays a vital role in lubricating the mouth, aiding digestion and protecting the oral cavity from infection. There are three pairs of major salivary glands: parotid glands, submandibular glands and sublingual glands, along with numerous minor salivary glands located throughout the oral cavity.

Salivary gland pathology

Salivary gland pathology encompasses a range of conditions that can affect the salivary glands, including:

  • Salivary stones (sialolithiasis): This condition occurs when calcium deposits form in the ducts or salivary glands, blocking the flow of saliva. It can cause pain, swelling and infection.
  • Salivary gland infections (Sialadenitis): Inflammation and infection of the salivary glands can occur due to bacterial or viral infections, resulting in pain, swelling and sometimes fever.
  • Salivary gland tumours: Both benign and malignant tumours can develop in the salivary glands, which may require careful assessment and appropriate treatment.



An accurate diagnosis is crucial to developing an effective treatment plan. Two frequently used diagnostic techniques for salivary gland diseases are ultrasound and sialoendoscopy.

  • Sialoendoscopy:Sialoendoscopy involves the use of a thin, flexible endoscope to directly visualise the salivary ducts and glands. It allows for the identification of obstructions such as calculi or stenosis and offers the opportunity to perform interventional procedures during the same session, such as the removal of calculi or dilation of stenosis.
  • Ultrasound scan: Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to create detailed images of the salivary glands. It allows visualisation of glandular structures, identification of abnormalities and assessment of blood flow within the glands. Ultrasound is non-invasive, safe and painless, making it an excellent initial diagnostic tool.


Treatment of salivary gland pathology depends on the specific condition and its severity. Some common treatment options include:

  • Medicines: Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat salivary gland infections, while painkillers and anti-inflammatories can help relieve symptoms.
  • Removal of salivary calculi: Small calculi may pass spontaneously or can be removed manually by gentle massage or flushing of the ducts. In the case of larger calculi, minimally invasive procedures such as sialendoscopy and ultrasound-guided stone removal may be necessary.
  • Dilatation of stenoses: In cases of stenosis (narrowing) of the salivary ducts, sialendoscopy allows the affected areas to be dilated or widened, improving saliva flow.
  • Surgical excision: If a benign salivary gland tumour is detected and determined to be causing significant symptoms, surgical removal of the tumour may be recommended. If it is malignant, you will be referred to a referral cancer hospital.

Our team and expertise

At Cunha Coutinho Saúde, we have a highly qualified team of surgeons with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of salivary gland pathology. We utilise advanced techniques such as ultrasound and sialoendoscopy to provide accurate diagnoses and tailored treatment plans for our patients.


We have agreements with several insurance companies and health plans to offer you the treatments you need at the most affordable prices.

Appointment Request

If you are experiencing symptoms related to salivary gland pathology, it is important to seek professional evaluation and treatment. Our clinic offers comprehensive care and the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of salivary gland disorders. Contact us today to book an appointment and take the first step towards improving your oral health and quality of life.

Booking an Appointment

At Clínica Cunha Coutinho, we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible care and ensuring that every appointment is a pleasant and positive experience. Fill in the form and take the first step towards a healthier and more beautiful smile.