Meet Dr. Larian
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Our salivary glands play a very important role in our ability to swallow, digest food, keep our teeth clean, and prevent infections. Read more >
Why We Need Saliva
Saliva isn’t something we typically talk much about, but it sure is important. When our salivary glands are functioning properly we don’t notice them, but those with a salivary gland problem are at risk for more than you may think. Here at the Center for Advanced Parotid Surgery, we take saliva seriously.
Health Benefits of Saliva
While there are many reasons we have saliva, let’s focus on three of the top health benefits of this liquid substance in our mouths.
1. Prevents Tooth Damage
Saliva helps to wash the teeth of food particles. Without saliva, a buildup of food and other particles could wear away the teeth. Also, saliva contains important proteins and minerals that help strengthen tooth enamel.
2. Accelerates Healing
Have you ever noticed that wounds in the mouth tend to heal faster than external wounds? This is because saliva is made up of compounds, proteins specifically, that speed up the healing process. If your salivary glands are not functioning properly, simply biting your cheek or the inside of your lip could be a lingering pain.
3. Maintains Mouth Cleanliness
Saliva is also important for keeping your mouth clean. The antibacterial properties of saliva help fight germs, like those that cause bad breath and tooth and gum diseases.
What If My Salivary Glands Aren’t Working?
Dry mouth can be fairly common in people with certain medical conditions or those taking certain medications. It can, however, be caused by a salivary gland obstruction. Babak Larian, MD, FACS is an ear, nose, and throat surgeon who specializes in the treatment of salivary gland disorders. Some types of salivary gland obstruction that he treats through minimally invasive surgical techniques are:
- Mucocele (salivary gland cyst)
- Sialolithiasis (salivary stones)
- Salivary gland tumors
- Sialadentitis (bacterial infection)
While frustrating, and often painful, salivary gland obstruction is treatable. Depending on the exact condition, the doctor may perform a minimally invasive salivary gland surgery. Dr. Larian, expert ear, nose, and throat surgeon, always performs these procedures in cooperation with a facial plastics and reconstructive surgeon to ensure that the facial nerve function is preserved and that the scar is as minimal and hidden as possible. If dealing with a cancerous salivary gland tumor, however, the location and size of the surgical incision will depend greatly on the location and size of the tumor.
Schedule a Salivary Gland Consultation Today
If you are struggling with poor salivary gland function, call the Center for Advanced Parotid Surgery at 310.461.0300 to schedule a consultation with parotid expert and board-certified head and neck surgeon Babak Larian, MD, FACS. Salivary gland obstruction can be annoying, painful, and potentially harmful, so don’t let it go untreated. Dr. Larian is highly successful at removing salivary gland obstructions and restoring patients’ salivary gland function, thus greatly improving their quality of life.
For more information about salivary glands, contact us today.