For some people, the salivary glands in the face don’t function as they should, resulting in repeat symptoms. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our team can help you explore your options and achieve relief.

What are Parotid Glands?

The parotid glands are sometimes called salivary glands. Salivary glands produce saliva to aid with digestion. There are many different salivary glands located around the face, including in the lips, mouth, throat, and cheeks – the parotid glands are specifically located just in front of the ears. When the parotid glands become swollen, it can cause the face to widen and be noticeably fuller. This is sometimes called parotid gland fullness. In more severe cases, they can become infected.

Symptoms of Parotid Gland Fullness

Tenderness and Discomfort

Swollen and full parotid glands can be tender to the touch, especially near the back of the jaw. This may make it difficult to chew, talk, or open your mouth.

Noticeable Swelling

The parotid glands can become noticeably swollen, producing a large bump or mass on the side of the face. It may even be painful to move your mouth.

Signs of Infection

Signs of infection like fever, redness, or discharge can be signs of an infection. If this is the case, you should see a medical professional immediately.

What Causes Parotid Gland Fullness?

The most common cause of parotid gland fullness is infection from certain strains of bacteria. However, there can sometimes be more severe causes like tumors or stones that cause the area to swell. Dental problems can also cause the glands to become infected.

What Are My Treatment Options for Parotid Gland Fullness?

There are a few ways to treat parotid gland fullness at home like drinking plenty of water or using throat drops to increase saliva production. However, one effective treatment option is BOTOX® which can be used to decrease salivary gland activity. This can help reduce the amount of saliva produced and thus the size of the parotid glands. If you have a parotid gland infection, your dermatologist can recommend your next steps in combatting bacteria or other causes.

Maintaining Healthy Parotid Glands After Treatment

One way to prevent parotid gland fullness is with BOTOX, which should be readministered every 3-6 months by your dermatologist. This can help reduce salivary activity over time and reduce the chance of infection. Additionally, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene to prevent foreign materials or bacteria from obstructing or entering the parotid glands.


Dr. Austin Cope is a Utah native as well as a highly educated and well-trained cosmetic dermatologist. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our team is here to help you look and feel your best.


Dr. Cope can help you achieve a new level of confidence with aesthetic experience and a laid-back approach. To learn more, contact us through our online form or give us a call.

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