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Salivary Gland Infection Causes & Risks


A variety of factors can lead to an inflamed parotid gland. They include:

  • Viral infection
    • Mumps is the main virus causing parotitis, but this virus is rare today because of vaccines .
    • AIDS can cause swelling and enlarged parotid glands
  • A blockage may block saliva flow and lead to a bacterial infection; causes include:
    • Salivary stone in the parotid gland
    • Mucus plug in a salivary duct
    • Tumor (usually benign)
  • Sjogren’s syndrome —an autoimmune disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Radiation treatment of head and neck cancer can lead to parotid gland inflammation
  • Other conditions can cause the parotid glands to become enlarged, but not infected, including:

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

Discuss these risk factors with your doctor:

  • Lifestyle:
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Not vaccinated against mumps
  • Age: older than age 65
  • Medical conditions:
    • HIV-positive or AIDS
    • Sjogren’s syndrome
    • Diabetes
    • Malnutrition
    • Alcoholism
    • Bulimia

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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