Salivary gland diseases in children are rare, apart from viral-induced diseases. Nevertheless, it is essential for the otolaryngologist to recognize these uncommon findings in children and adolescents and to diagnose and initiate the proper treatment.
The present work provides an overview of the entire spectrum of congenital and acquired diseases of the salivary glands in childhood and adolescence. The current literature was reviewed and the results discussed and summarized.
Besides congenital diseases of the salivary glands in children, the main etiologies of viral and bacterial infections, autoimmune diseases and tumors of the salivary glands were considered. In addition to the known facts, new developments in diagnostics, imaging and therapy, including sialendoscopy in obstructive diseases and chronic recurrent juvenile sialadenitis were taken into account. In addition, systemic causes of salivary gland swelling and the treatment of sialorrhoea were discussed. Although salivary gland diseases in children are usually included in the pathology of the adult, they differ in their incidence and sometimes in their symptoms. Clinical diagnostics and especially the surgical treatment are influenced by a stringent indications and a less invasive strategy. Due to the rarity of tumors of the salivary glands in children, it is recommended to treat them in a specialized center with greater surgical experience.
Altogether the knowledge of the differential diagnoses in salivary gland diseases in children is important for otolaryngologists, to indicate the proper therapeutic approach.