Jefferson University Hospitals

Sialolithiasis

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Sialolithiasis affects 12 out of every 1,000 adults in the U.S. It is a condition in which stones form within a salivary gland. Stones form when the flow of saliva slows down, and material, such as calcium deposits, forms. The stones block the outflow of saliva, causing pain and swelling, especially with eating.

Surgery to remove the gland has traditionally been the only option. But Jefferson physicians offer a new procedure to spare the salivary gland. It is called sialendoscopy, and Jefferson is the only hospital in the Philadelphia region performing this minimally invasive procedure.

While researchers still do not fully understand the cause of salivary stones, it's thought that they can be formed from environmental and/or physical factors. They are likely caused by dehydration, structural problems and the chemical properties of a patient's saliva.