Either one or both parotid glands can be inflamed. They can be inflamed for several reasons, including:
When air gets into the ducts of the parotid gland, it's called pneumoparotitis. This condition may or may not include inflammation. It most commonly occurs in wind instrument players, glass blowers and scuba divers.
If you have mumps, your doctor can diagnose it based on your symptoms and medical history. Sometimes blood tests are helpful.
Your doctor may take an X-ray if he or she thinks you have a salivary stone. In some cases, a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan also may help.
Mumps disappears on its own in about 10 days.
Parotitis related to HIV/AIDS or Sjögren's syndrome can be managed, but it may never disappear. Parotitis related to other conditions (such as alcoholism or bulimia) may get better if the condition is brought under control.
Parotitis from a salivary stone or tumor should get better after the stone or tumor is taken out.
If you have mumps, treatment is not necessary. The condition will go away on its own. You should avoid contact with other people (stay isolated) for 7 to 10 days from when you first get mumps so other people do not get infected.
Small salivary stones can be taken out with a probe. You may need surgery to remove larger stones. Some stones can be flushed out or pulled out with tweezers. Some people have many salivary stones. They may need to have a parotid gland removed to solve the problem.
Sometimes, mucus plugs can be washed away by making more saliva. To do this, drink plenty of liquids and suck on sour, sugarless candies. Sometimes massaging the gland can help.
People with Sjögren's syndrome can take medicines to increase the amount of saliva they have. One medicine is called pilocarpine (Salagen).
In people with AIDS-related parotitis, anti-HIV and other medicines may help.