Can Some Salivary Glands Make Less Saliva than Others?
Some patients report that they sometimes feel that some of their salivary glands seem to produce no saliva while others do.
Is this possible and is this telling of any underlying problem?
First it is important to note that often dry mouth and source of saliva flow is a very subjective sensation (based on our interpretation), diagnosing a medical condition based on that information would need to be accompanied by medical tests.
However, there are certain instances where certain glands may work ok while others do not.
For example in patients with mumps there mostly is swelling of the parotid glands (the ones on the side of the cheeks) and as a result their function will be interrupted.
Also if radiation therapy is applied to a certain area where certain glands are or in the case of salivary stones which block the ducts that deliver saliva from the salivary gland to the oral cavity.
Per Sjogren's Syndrome, there need to be more studies done in terms of how the condition affects specific salivary gland tissues in humans, but some studies suggest that sublingual glands (the ones below your tongue) are not as affected as are the parotid glands. So if you have Sjogren's Syndrome you may feel like you have more saliva coming from under the tongue.
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Kassan, SS, Moutsopoulous, HM. “Clinical manifestations and early diagnosis of Sjogren syndrome”. Arch Intern Med.. vol. 164. 2004. pp. 1275-1284.
Vitali, CV, Bombardieri, S, Jonsson, R, Moutsopoulous, HM, Alexander, EL, Carsons, SSE. “Classification criteria for Sjogren's syndrome: a revised version on the European criteria proposed by the American-European Consensus group”. Ann Rheum Dis. vol. 61. 2002. pp. 554-558.