What is Parotitis

Parotitis means that you have irritation and swelling (inflammation) in one or both of your parotid glands. These glands make spit (saliva). They are found on each side of your face, below and in front of your earlobes. You may or may not have pain with this condition.

Follow these instructions at home:


  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your doctor.
  • If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, take it as told by your doctor. Do not stop taking the antibiotic even if you start to feel better.

Managing pain and swelling

  • Apply warm cloths (compresses) to the swollen area as told by your doctor.
  • Gently rub your parotid glands as told by your doctor.

General instructions

  • Drink enough fluid to keep your pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.
  • Suck on sour candy. This may help:
    • To make your mouth less dry.
    • To make more spit.
  • Keep your mouth clean and moist.
    • Gargle with a salt-water mixture 3–4 times per day, or as needed.
    • To make a salt-water mixture, stir ½–1 tsp of salt into 1 cup of warm water.
  • Take good care of your mouth:
    • Brush your teeth at least two times per day.
    • Floss your teeth every day.
    • See your dentist regularly.
  • Do not use tobacco products. These include cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting,
  • ask your doctor.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your doctor. This is important.

Contact a doctor if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have new symptoms.
  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • Your symptoms do not get better with treatment.

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