Salivary Gland disease

There are three pairs of major salivary glands: parotid, submandibular and sublingual glands.

We see patients with a variety of common conditions affecting these glands, including infection, growths and duct blockage with stones.

These conditions are often investigated using a variety of X-rays and scans.

Contact us


Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) 

Main switchboard on 01392 411611



North Devon District Hospital 

Main switchboard on 01271 322577

Where to find us

Your healthcare professional will advise where your appointment will take place. Your appointment may take place at one of our outpatient clinics situated within our main hospital sites or within the community.

Eastern services

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) 

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Barrack Road



Level 1, Area J

Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Multiple routine, new and follow-up clinics at RD&E Wonford.

Follow-up Clinics at Tiverton Hospital, Axminster Hospital and North Devon District Hospital.

Northern Services

North Devon District Hospital 

North Devon District Hospital

Raleigh Park



EX31 4JB

Meet the team

  • Mr Michael Esson, Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
  • Mr Andrew McLennan, Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
  • Mr John Bowden, Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Services and treatments

The treatment you have will depend on which gland is affected.

Parotidectomy (a procedure on the parotid gland)
The parotid gland is a salivary gland which lies immediately in front of your ear. Saliva drains from it through a tube that opens on the inside of the cheek, next to your upper back teeth. The most common operation on this gland is to remove a lump.

Removal of submandibular gland
The submandibular gland is a salivary gland, about the size of a plum. It lies immediately below your lower jaw. Saliva drains from it through a tube which opens on the inside of the mouth, under the tongue and immediately behind the lower front teeth.

The most common reason for removing a submandibular gland is because of an infection. This usually occurs if the tubes that drain saliva become blocked. Blockages usually happen because of stones, which can form in your mouth and block your flow of saliva.

Removal of sublingual gland
The sublingual gland is a salivary gland about the size of an almond, which lies underneath your tongue in the floor of your mouth. Saliva drains from it through a number of small tubes which open on the inside of your mouth, underneath the tongue. The most common reason for removing a sublingual gland is because of a blockage to these drainage tubes. This can lead to a swelling (ranula).

Patient information leaflets

We produce a wide range of leaflets which provide information about our services and about the treatment you might receive in our clinics or during your stay in hospital. 

We also produce these in different formats including large print, please contact the department you are visiting for more information.

Find out more

Information for healthcare professionals

Last updated: November 16, 2022.