Parotitis treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions
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Can a doctor treat parotitis on Maple?
Yes, a doctor on Maple can offer parotitis treatment options, but only after you’ve received a parotitis diagnosis.
The doctor will most likely suggest that you visit a clinic to have additional testing done to confirm a parotitis diagnosis, before suggesting any parotitis prescriptions.
Can I get a prescription on Maple?
Yes, our physicians can prescribe parotitis medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.
You can visit our How it works page to learn more.
What is parotitis?
Parotitis is the inflammation (swelling) or infection of one or both of the parotid glands (the salivary glands that create saliva). This is the gland located between each ear and the jaw.
There are both acute and chronic forms of this condition, which can result from different parotitis causes.
What are the symptoms of parotitis?
There are different symptoms and signs of parotitis, depending on whether you’re experiencing acute or chronic parotitis.
Acute signs of parotitis include:
- Swelling or sudden pain that worsens while eating
- Pus, which could drain into the mouth
Chronic parotitis symptoms include
- Dry mouth
- Swelling at the parotid gland
- Milky discharge within the mouth
There are also some symptoms and signs of parotitis, which could appear alongside either form. These include:
- Face pain
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Bad taste in the mouth
- General feeling of unwell (similar to flu)
- Sore throat
- Swelling in the temporomandibular area (jaw region)
Additionally, there are some signs of parotitis that could indicate that the condition is becoming very serious, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- High fever (above 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
What causes parotitis?
The most common causes of parotitis are bacterial infections.
However, there are some other parotitis causes, which are less likely to occur.
- Blockages to saliva flow (such as salivary duct stones)
- Viral infections (such as mumps)
Some factors can also increase the risks of experiencing parotitis, such as:
- Contact with a person infected with mumps
- Poor oral hygiene
- Cystic fibrosis
- Certain medications (antipsychotics, antihistamines, anticholinergics)
- Sjogren syndrome
- Having not received the MMR vaccine
How is parotitis diagnosed?
The doctor will want to discuss your medical history, as well as have a physical exam performed before providing a parotitis diagnosis.
As well, they may request additional testing to confirm the parotitis diagnosis before offering prescription parotitis medications. Some additional testing could include:
- Blood tests
- Fluid samples from the parotid gland (or from the pus draining into your mouth)
- Imaging tests (X-ray, ultrasound, CT/MRI scans, sialography to view the ducts in and around the affected glands)
How is parotitis treated?
The type of parotitis treatments the doctor suggests will depend on the causes of your parotitis.
The doctor may suggest parotitis medications, such as:
- Antibiotics (to treat bacterial infections)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (to reduce swelling and manage pain)
In some cases, the doctor may suggest surgery to remove any blockages that prevent saliva flow.
The doctor may also suggest some supportive care parotitis treatments to help manage symptoms, such as warm water rinses and improved oral hygiene practices. Other supportive care treatments for parotitis include:
- Drinking lots of fluids
- Gently massaging the area
- Sucking on a sour hard candy
- Applying a warm compress to your cheek
When to see a doctor for parotitis?
Because bacterial infections most often cause parotitis, it’s important that you talk to your doctor right away if you begin to experience any parotitis symptoms.
Prescription parotitis medications may be required in order to stop the spread of the infection, and reduce negative symptoms.
What is Maple?
With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare platform for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.
You simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it works page to learn more.
Our doctors can assess symptoms and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.
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