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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6017
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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I have an inflamed parotid gland. I've touched it with my

Customer Question

I have an inflamed parotid gland. I've touched it with my tongue and fingers a lot so as I was trying to see a small red purple dot on it and now it hurts. However, I have noticed before --without any other symptoms-- that it looks bigger than the one
on my right and it has some sort of bulging. It doesn't feel firm, just like extra tissue. I was assessed for oral cancer in December as part of my dental checkup and I'm not due for another until December. My next dentist's appointment is in June. Also, I
got a big canker sore in the section where the inside of the lower lip ends and the gum starts. I've used hydrogen peroxide and rinsed with warm water and salt and it has gotten bigger. I've had it since Friday. I've been under periods of lots of stress and
health anxiety lately and I'm really not sure if the parotid has always looked like that and I'm just too aware of it now.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
Would you be able to provide a photograph of the involved area? You may use the "paper clip" icon on the text entry form toolbar to upload a digital picture. (Detailed instructions can be found here:
Alternatively, you may send your picture to a photo hosting site, such as
Imgur, Flickr or Photobucket,
and provide a link to the picture in a reply to this information request. This will allow meto provide a more accurate and relevant response...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is the best I could do picture-wise. It feels and looks like a bulging. If I press from the inside and outside I don't feel a cyst or a tumor-like growth. It's like a swollen or enlarged tissue, if that makes any sense.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, I sometimes feel blister-like growths that go away when I press my tongue or finger. I tend to get those behind where my wisdom teeth used to be. Again, I'm not even sure how long this has been going on; I think it has been there for a looong time and has been there during screenings. I have become extremely aware in terms of health, which is causing some anxiety --with which I'm dealing with in another forum.
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
I will not comment on the blister-like growths to which you refer in your last addendum because they are not evident in your photograph. They will be easier to identify if you present to your dentist for evaluation when the lesions are manifest. (As an aside, the three most common reasons for intraoral blistering are mucous retention cysts, viral infections, and vesiculobullous autoimmune disorders, in that order. None of these three are malignant.)
The structure evident in your photograph is not the parotid gland per se, but rather the orifice of that gland's duct (Stenson's duct). Although your photograph lacks the resolution required to render fine surface detail, the tissues look grossly normal. Quite naturally, the oral mucous membranes are vulnerable to mechanical injury and irritation, and may vary in appearance from time to time according to normal functional (e.g., chewing) or para-functional (factitial injury from habitual cheek chewing or manipulation by the finger) trauma. Although there is a general pattern of symmetry within the mouth, it is never absolute, and the left and right Stenson's ducts need not mirror each others' appearances in order to be considered normal. Based on your photograph, I am inclined to dismiss any suspicion of abnormality here, other than the referenced canker sore.
As for the canker sore, I would discourage the use of hydrogen peroxide, which can be irritating. Over the counter topical anesthetic products are helpful in mitigating symptoms, but there is little that will hasten the natural healing process. If you experience repeated crops of severe canker sores, you may wish to present to your primary care medical doctor to rule out certain systemic issues (e.g., Crohn's disease, Behcet's syndrome, lupus, Reiter's disease), as recurrent multiple canker sores (aphthous stomatitis) may be related to a more global disorder.
Hope this helps...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I've also noticed a bulge of tissue under my tongue on the left side. No cyst or mass just overgrowth. I'd be able to take a picture later during the day for reference. It doesn't hurt and I think I've noticed it before and has been there during my oral screenings.
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
In general, a stable appearance implies an innocent finding. I will await your photo...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think that my parotid duct may have infected? I still see it swollen, it still hurts some, and now it shows some white on it which resembles some tissue coming off or maybe a dot or two? Again, I did my best with the picture but the resolution is not good and those were "selfies" as I don't have anybody to take a pic at the moment.I purchased some Orajel for my canker sore, which thankfully, is not hurting as bad as it was yesterday.The other picture is the bulging I see underneath my tongue.Thanks!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Malignant conditions would present in the form of a palpable cyst or tumor? I see bulging but there's no firmness on any of them. I'm able to move the tissue without feeling any growth.
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
There is a bit of sloughing of the mucous membrane in your left cheek, and this is consistent with the normal desquamation that occurs in this location due to mechanical friction with the teeth. There is nothing in your photo that suggests infection. (Viral parotitis-- i.e., mumps-- does not normally cause conspicuous manifestations in the mouth. Bacterial parotitis would produce a purulent exudate, which can be demonstrated by manual pressure on the duct. There is no sign of infection in your photo.)
There is a bit of asymmetry in the floor of your mouth, but the location of the swelling is consistent with the sublingual gland. In the course of his oral cancer exam, your dentist would have palpated the floor of the mouth and determined whether this is a cause for concern, based on the firmness and consistency of the gland.
Good luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Could the tori cause this asymmetry? My biggest tori is in that section. Are any of these things reason to schedule a much earlier appointment? My next appointment is on June 23rd and they won't be scheduling an oral cancer exam because that's due in December. The last one I had was on December 18, 2014.
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
This is not a torus.
There is nothing in your photographs that raise any suspicion of abnormality, or justify moving your regularly scheduled appointment forward.
Good luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Got it, and yes, I know that's not a torus, but the biggest one of the three I have is on my left side :). I'll go ahead and keep the date of my appointment for next month. During my last appointment in December, the doctor was passing a stone and about to go to the ER, so I'm not entirely sure that he was being thorough.

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