Parotitis causes inflammation 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.

Parotitis can be:

  • Acute—inflammation that resolves with treatment
  • Chronic—includes persistent inflammation or alternating periods of flare-ups and remission

Parotid Gland
Nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

An inflamed parotid gland has several causes. These vary depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. The most common causes include:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection
  • Blockage of saliva flow