A ranula is a painless cyst on the floor of the mouth caused by trauma to the sublingual gland.
Although mostly harmless, pleomorphic adenomas can grow to large proportions, hindering jaw function.
A siaolith (white) can block the salivary gland and cause painful inflammation.
Primary-care providers (PCPs) see a wide variety of tumors and diseases that originate in the salivary glands, of which there are three main types: the parotid, the submandibular and the sublingual. Hundreds of additional minor salivary glands within the mouth can also develop pathology. Salivary gland pathology can be classified broadly as inflammatory and infectious swellings, traumatic disorders and benign and malignant tumors. Additionally, systemic disorders can involve the salivary glands. Each of these entities has a unique clinical presentation, and proper identification is critical to providing the correct and most efficient course of treatment. Click here to read the full Clinical Feature, “Evaluating salivary gland tumors and diseases.”