Pronounced: PEAR-uh-TIE-tissEn Español (Spanish Version)
Parotitis causes swelling in one or both of the parotid glands. These are two large salivary glands that are inside each cheek over the jaw in front of each ear. It may require treatment.
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A variety of factors can lead to an inflamed parotid gland. Causes will vary depending on whether the condition is chronic or acute. They include:
- Bacterial infection due to staphylococcus, streptococcus, or haemophilus
- Viral infection due to mumps or AIDS
A blockage may block saliva flow and lead to a bacterial infection. Causes include:
- Salivary stone in the parotid gland
- Mucus plug in a salivary duct
- Tumor—usually benign
- Sjogren’s syndrome—an autoimmune disease
- Radiation treatment of head and neck cancer can lead to parotid gland inflammation
- Other conditions can cause the parotid glands to become enlarged, but not infected, including:
Last reviewedJune 2013by Kari Kassir, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.