I know, I know. My last several posts have been pretty doofus. I promise that today's entry actually has some useful information.
Sjoggies know that our salivary glands are seriously impacted by the effects of Sjogren's syndrome. Occasionally one of the problems encountered with our salivary glands is an obstruction in a saliva duct causing pain or swelling. If you are having these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Your doctor may suggest that you perform salivary gland massage to help.
The June 2011 edition of The Moisture Seekers (published by the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation and mailed to all SSF members AND is yet another reason why you should become a member) included an excellent patient fact sheet entitled How to Massage Salivary Glands.
You can see the PDF version of this information online, here.
Written by Ava J. Wu, DDS
Dr. Wu is a Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Salivary Gland Dysfunction Clinic, School of Dentistry, University of California, San Francisco.
If a sharp and stabbing pain occurs in one of your salivary glands right before or while eating or drinking, the cause might be an obstruction (a stone or mucous plug). In rare cases, associated gland swelling can accompany the discomfort. Here are some tips for massaging or "milking" the gland that might help:
- Stay well hydrated to encourage the flow of saliva through the gland.
- Temporarily avoid foods and beverages that cause the pain and possible swelling.
- Apply warm compresses to the area to increase comfort.
- Ibuprofen may be taken temporarily to decrease pain and inflammation.
- Talk to your doctor about the use of a mucolytic agent for 5 - 10 days to thin the saliva and allow it to easily pass through the salivary ducts.
In all cases of salivary gland swelling and associated pain a medical professional should be consulted as soon as possible to determine the cause.Additional Patient Fact Sheets like this one are available online at www.sjogrens.org/brochures.