What Causes Submandibular Gland Swelling?

Some possible causes of submandibular gland swelling are salivary stones, salivary gland infection and other viral infections, according to WebMD. Other possible but less commonly causes of swelling of the submandibular glands are cysts or tumors.

Salivary stones can cause swelling of the submandibular glands as well as other salivary glands, explains WebMD. Salivary stones are crystallized deposits of saliva that get stuck in glands, causing pain and swelling. Failure to remove salivary stones from glands can lead to salivary gland infection, also known as sialandentitis. Symptoms of infection of the submandibular glands can include painful lumps, swelling and foul-smelling discharge. Other types of infections, such as mumps or the influenza virus, can cause swelling of the salivary glands.

Treatment of inflammation or swelling of the submandibular salivary glands addresses the underlying cause, according to WebMD. A doctor removes salivary stones or other blockages manually, and warm compresses and sucking on sour candies can initiate the return of the normal flow of saliva. If removal of blockages that are causing the swelling is not possible, the patient may need surgery. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are possible treatments for cysts and tumors.

The submandibular salivary glands are located on the floor of the mouth and produce saliva, explains WebMD. Saliva is important because it lubricates the mouth, protects teeth against bacteria and helps with swallowing and the digestion of food.