Huge salivary stones, the size of an adult’s teeth, were found growing in the lower jaw of a 37-year-old patient.
Initially, swelling and pain in the mouth was diagnosed as a result of a malfunction of a particular molar, indicating teeth that did not protrude from the gums.
However, upon requesting an ultrasound examination, a shadow of 2 cm in length was found in the lower right salivary gland, and had no relation to the teeth.
During surgery, large salivary stones were removed from the patient’s jaw, and pain and swelling diminished soon after.
These calcified stones are one of the most common problems associated with the salivary glands, affecting 12 out of every 1,000 adults annually, but stones greater than 1.5 cm are rare.
And yet, the issue of giant salivary stones appears to affect almost exclusively on men, especially those in their forties and fifties and sixties.
Most of the time, saliva stones are smaller than one cm in size, but some previous reports have described finding stones up to 3.5 cm in size. These massive pebbles usually appear in the gland beneath the lower jaw, and there are some amazing radiographs, which reveal how large these growthable bodies are.
The blocks are generally made from calcium phosphate or calcium carbonate, along with some salts, protein, magnesium, potassium and ammonia.
But the reason for its formation remains unclear. One idea is that the composition of saliva changes for some reason and becomes more gel-like, creating a calcified mass.
For example, there is a hypothesis explaining that this occurs when the body begins to produce more saliva bicarbonate, which leads to the accumulation of calcium phosphate. Others believe that it has a greater relationship with microbes or epithelial cells in the salivary tract.
The status report has been published in BMJ Case Reports.