People get salivary gland infections when bacteria or viruses get into the salivary glands, which are a group of glands in the head and neck. Salivary gland infections most commonly develop in the two main glands, which are located in the front of the ear the parotid gland and under the chin the submandibular gland. A salivary gland infection, also called sialadenitis, can cause a blockage in the saliva ducts due to inflammation. This can lead to pain, tenderness, and swelling. Blockages in the salivary glands can cause inflammation, making the glands more vulnerable to infection. Also, inflamed salivary glands tend to produce less saliva, which flows more slowly than usual. As a result of this, the saliva sometimes pools in the glands, allowing the concentration of bacteria or viruses within the saliva to increase.
The parotid gland is a major salivary gland in many animals. In humans, the two parotid glands are present on either side of the mouth and in front of both ears. They are the largest of the salivary glands. Each parotid is wrapped around the mandibular ramus , and secretes serous saliva through the parotid duct into the mouth, to facilitate mastication and swallowing and to begin the digestion of starches.
Sometimes blockages in the ducts that lead from the salivary glands can be removed, but some people need to use saliva substitutes. See also Introduction to Mouth and Throat Disorders. The parotid glands , the largest pair of salivary glands,lie just behind the angle of the jaw, below and in front of the ears.