There are three pairs of major salivary glands (parotid, submandibular, sublingual) between 800 and 1000 and minor salivary glands spread over the mucosa of the oral cavity and oropharynx.Saliva helps maintain the integrity of the various structures of the oral cavity (such as teeth or mucosa), the formation of the bolus and communication among other functions.
The main diseases of the salivary glands are:
• Lack of saliva (xerostomia) or increased salivation (ptyalism).
• No tumor diseases
Sialoadenitis: These are inflammations of the salivary glands. They can be caused by bacterial, viral (mumps or mumps, it has reduced its incidence MMR), by radiation therapy or autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome.
Sialolithiasis: The presence of stones in the ducts that produce a retrograde pain and inflammation of the affected gland after food intake. In some cases improved clinical symptomatic treatment but sometimes must be removed surgically or endoscopically lithiasis (sialoendoscopia) or even remove the gland (submaxillectomy or parotidectomies).
Sialadenitis: no salivary inflammatory disease due to metabolic disorders and secretory parenchyma which is accompanied by an increase bilateral painless parotid glands.
Salivary cysts: retention cysts may occur saliva in the sublingual gland (ránula) manifesting as a soft bluish and increase in the floor of the mouth.
• Tumors represent 1.2% of all tumors and 3% of head and neck tumors. Between 75 and 85% settle in the parotid gland and about 80% of the parotid tumors are benign. For proper diagnosis it is important to perform a FNA (fine needle aspiration) to determine the type of tumor and an imaging and magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography to know the extent of the injury.
Benign: The most common benign tumor is the pleomorphic adenoma (or mixed tumor). Other benign tumors are Warthin tumor, oncocytoma, the basal cell adenoma or myoepithelioma among others. Although they are benign tumors need to be treated surgically by the potential enlargement and malignant in some cases.
Malignant Multiple malignant tumors of the salivary glands as mucoepidermoid carcinoma, acinar cell, clear cell, adenoid cystic and squamous cells or metastasis of other tumors among others.
• The treatment of tumors involves resection of the affected gland (submaxillectomy or parotidectomy) that involves the risk of injury or all a branch of the facial nerve as it crosses the parotid gland, it may therefore be useful to use the neurostimulator to reduce the likelihood of nerve involvement in some cases. This surgery can be done through approaches such as the lift which hide the scars of the intervention.