By the production of saliva, the salivary glands are important structures designed to keep our mouth and teeth healthy and clean, assist with digestion and aid in swallowing and taste sensation. The glands are located in the neck, cheeks and under the tongue. The salivary glands can swell suddenly and become painful if they develop an infection or become obstructed by stones.
Most infections can be treated successfully with antibiotics, and occasionally stones need to be removed. Growths can also form in the gland and require surgical removal. Dry mouth develops when saliva production falls, causing burning and difficulty swallowing. This is often due to medications and sometimes an undetected illness.