Salivary Gland Surgery & Sialendoscopy

Saliva is good for your oral health. Saliva provides immune protection, chemical digestion and protects the teeth from dental caries.

Too little saliva is debilitating: the mouth is too dry, tongue sticks to the roof of the mouth, taste is altered, speech and swallowing is difficult. Too little saliva carries a risk of dental and oral infections. On the other hand, too much saliva is also bad. Excessive drooling is incapacitating. It causes skin infection around the lips, social embarrassment and worst of all, risk of saliva aspiration into the lungs resulting in chest infections. Saliva glands are also the site of more than 30 different tumours and cancer pathology. Saliva stones is a common problem that affects many people.

Saliva is produced by the 3 pairs of major salivary glands (Parotid glands on the sides of your face, Submandibular glands under the angles of your jaw, Sublingual glands just under the tongue) and thousands of minor salivary glands lining your oral mucosa.

Too dry

Xerostomia or dry mouth, occurs when too little saliva is produced. There are many causes: nasal obstruction, infections, radiation therapy, medication side effects, physiologic aging process and systemic autoimmune conditions (such as Sjogrens Disease). An ENT surgeon will investigate the possible causes of xerostomia, including tests for autoimmune conditions. In some occasions, a biopsy of the lip to study the minor salivary glands may be warranted. Treatment of xerostomia depends on the specific cause identified.

Getting an expert assessment and opinion is always a good first step. Please contact us for an appointment. Dr Levi is also available to provide educational talks on this topic.