How is parotitis treated?

Antibiotic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for parotitis that is caused by a bacterial infection. Additionally, if a secondary infection occurs within the mouth due to the dysfunctional salivary glands, antibiotics can be prescribed. Such an infection is diagnosed by fever or the presence of pus in the mouth. If complications such as an abscess occur, surgical drainage or aspiration may be required.

What you can do to improve your parotitis

In addition to following your health care provider’s instructions and taking all medications as prescribed, you can speed your recovery by:

  • Brushing your teeth frequently during the day and practicing good oral hygiene
  • Drinking extra fluids
  • Eating soft foods
  • Gargling with warm salt water
  • Refraining from smoking or other tobacco use
  • What are the potential complications of parotitis?

What are the potential complications of parotitis?

You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of parotitis include:

  • Abscess of salivary gland
  • Adverse effects of parotitis treatment
  • Facial paralysis
  • Chronic pain or discomfort
  • Infection of other organs
  • Spread of bacterial infection


  1. Salivary gland infections. PubMed Health, a service of the NLM from the NIH.
  2. Mumps. PubMed Health, a service of the NLM from the NIH.
  3. Domino FJ (Ed.) Five Minute Clinical Consult. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.
  4. Feigin RD, Cherry JD, Demmler-Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL (Eds), Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2009.

What is parotitis?

Parotitis is the name given to inflammation and infection of the largest of the salivary glands known as the parotid glands. Inflammation results in swelling of the tissues that surround the salivary glands, redness, and soreness. Salivary glands are responsible for producing saliva in the mouth, which has the important function of cleansing the mouth. Inflammation of the salivary glands r... Read more about parotitisintroduction


What are the symptoms of parotitis?

Parotitis causes swelling and inflammation of the parotid glands that may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Throat and neck symptoms of parotitis

The most common symptoms of parotitis are related to the throat and neck and include:


What causes parotitis?

Bacterial infections of the salivary glands are commonly a result of an obstruction, such as salivary duct stones or poor oral hygiene. Drugs that cause dry mouth, such as some antihistamines, can increase the risk of parotitis, as can cancer treatments such as radiation therapy.

What are the risk factors for parotitis?

A number of factors increase the risk of developin... Read more about parotitiscauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Mouth, Teeth and Oral Health