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Many people believe that when there is reddish swelling and pustules
around the gums may be attributable to
the traditional concept of “inflaming” due to lack of enough sleep, as
long as we rest more and have a cup cold drinks will be fine. A 57-year-old woman
experienced similar condition repeatedly for years, with recent worsening of gum
swelling and the symptom persisted. Finally, she looked for medical attention
and was found out to be the complication of stones within the salivary gland
Dr. Yi-Fang Ding from Wanfang Hospital said that the salivary glands
include parotid, sublingual and submandibular glands which produce secretions
to lubricate the mouth. The salivary duct diameter measures just about 2mm and is
subject to obstruction by crystals from the mineral contents in the saliva.
The woman went to the hospital with swelling and pain below her left ear,
and was accompanied by left ear stuffiness. These symptoms worsened after meal.
She was diagnosed to have left parotid stones in other hospital. Although removal
of the whole gland was advised, she hesitated for fear of damaging the facial
nerve leading to difficulty of eye closing and lopsided mouth. The procedure
may also leave a 5 cm-sized and requires a couple of hospitalization days. Thereafter,
she was referred to Wanfang Hospital for further management.
Dr. Yi-Fang Ding explained
that the stone size in this patient is about 1cm, and is deep-seated within the
parotid gland, which is quite unusual. After evaluation, minimally invasive
endoscopic surgery was suggested. The procedure applies laser lithotripsy to
crush the stones and then removed them using the salivary gland endoscope. No
complications occurred and the function of the gland was completely preserved without
any wound left.
Dr. Yi-Fang Ding pointed out that the
main cause of salivary gland stone is insufficient water intake, excessive
fatigue, and inadequate oral hygiene. He reminds that drinking sufficient water,
taking appropriate rest, good stress management and reducing the consumption of
fried food are effective for prevention of stone formation.