General, Research, Technology

What is salivary stone and why is it dangerous?

It’s scary to think what’s going on in our mouth whilewe don’t notice it. For example, some people may develop a disease called odontoma. It is a benign tumor on the jaw, which consists of overgrown dental tissues. So, in 2019, in the jaw of a 7-year-old boy from India, 526 tiny teeth were found that had to be removed surgically. Also, people can form so-called salivary stones, which cause pain, swelling, and, in some cases, infections. Recently, this disease, called sialolithiasis, was discovered in a 37-year-old man. The salivary stone was so large that it was initially taken for a tooth.

Stones can form in the jaw of a person

An unusual medical story was told inBMJ Case Reports. When a man came to the hospital with edema, the doctors felt that they were dealing with a “hidden” tooth that did not cut through the gums. However, during the passage of the ultrasound, it turned out that in the region of the patient's right salivary gland, a two-centimeter stone was formed from calcium salts. Such formations are one of the most common problems that arise with the salivary glands. However, stones longer than 1.5 centimeters are extremely rare.

Sometimes salivary stones are especially large

What are salivary stones?

As a rule, salivary stones are found in 12 of1000 adults over the age of 40. There are cases in history when the length of calcium formations reached 3.5 centimeters. In addition to calcium, stones also contain substances such as proteins, magnesium, potassium, and even ammonia. It is noteworthy that they usually form under the jaw, but the human salivary glands are also located in the ear and under the tongue. Sometimes stones are found in the parotid glands, but under the tongue they form only in 1% of cases.

Attention! The photo below can be extremely unpleasant for some people!

Because of what salivary stones form, scientists definitelyis unknown. There is an assumption that they are formed when saliva, for some reason, becomes gel-like and hardens. It is also believed that sialolithiasis is the cause of the abundant production of saliva, which results in the accumulation of calcium phosphate. The third theory says that stones form when particles of cells and germs get stuck in the salivary ducts.

Salivary stone found in the jaw of a 37-year-old man

Although the exact reason for the formation of salivary stones is up tostill unknown, doctors already know how to get rid of them. Treatment consists of using drugs to increase salivation, but most often the stones are removed surgically. After the operation, the patient almost always pain subsides and swelling disappears. Sometimes stones form again, so after surgical intervention, patients are prescribed medication for prevention.

See also: Doctors have described a rare case of hair growth inside the human mouth

In general, in medicine there are many unusualphenomena. For example, in 2019, a girl complained to a weakness and bluish skin tone in one of the hospitals in the US state of Rhode Island. Doctors could not immediately identify the cause of such symptoms, so they asked the patient to take blood tests. It turned out that the girl’s blood was painted blue. The reasons for this unusual phenomenon can be found in our special material.