How Do You Treat Salivary Stones?
Your dental professional will sometimes detect and diagnose salivary stones during a routine dental examination, especially if you haven't experienced noticeable symptoms that have prompted you to see a dentist or physician sooner. A dentist will usually detect the presence of a stone by touch or visual inspection, especially if it is apparent near the sublingual papilla.
Treatment involves removing the salivary stone, but the exact procedure depends on the size, location, and number of stones. Sometimes, a dental professional can push the stone out by massaging the area with heat. A sialoendoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure using cameras and small instruments to diagnose and retrieve stones, may also be helpful. Shock wave treatments are also an option to break larger stones into small pieces. More complicated cases, such as if the stones become infected or recur, may require surgery. In some cases, a small incision in the papilla — also known as a papillotomy — may help your medical professional remove the stone.
Luckily, there are measures you can take at home to help dislodge a salivary stone. Try drinking lots of water and using sugar-free lozenges to help stimulate saliva flow and loosen the stone from the duct. As always, maintaining a good oral care routine with twice-daily brushing and once-daily interdental cleaning will help prevent the formation of salivary stones. It's also best to avoid smoking or using other tobacco products.
Understanding your mouth and the ways saliva circulates through it is essential to your overall oral health. Now that you know a bit more about your sublingual papilla and other salivary strictures, you are more prepared to take action a problem occurs. If you notice anything unusual on the floor of your mouth near your sublingual papilla, or you experience pain or swelling when eating, call your dental professional. You may have a simple salivary stone, which can be easily removed.