These are small stones that form in salivary glands in your mouth and can block your flow of saliva. They’re not usually serious and you may be able to remove them yourself.
Check if you’ve got salivary gland stones
Most stones appear below your tongue in one of the tubes (glands) supplying saliva to your mouth. You can’t always see them.
Things you can try yourself
You can try to free the stone by doing things to increase saliva production, such as:
- sucking on a lemon or lemon drops
- drinking plenty of water
- gently massaging around the stone
See a GP if:
- you’re unable to remove the stone yourself
- the stone has caused an infection – signs include pain, redness or pus around the stone, and a high temperature (you feel hot and shivery)
Treatment to remove the stones
Your GP may attempt to gently remove the stone with a thin, blunt instrument.
If that’s not possible, you may need to have the stone removed in hospital.
You can’t always prevent salivary gland stones
It’s not clear what causes salivary gland stones, so there’s no way to prevent them.
They’re not generally linked with any other health problems.
Salivary stones don’t usually come back, but if you keep getting them you might be advised to have one of your salivary glands removed.