A sialogram is a radiographic study of the salivary glands in your mouth. Most saliva is released into your mouth by three pairs of salivary glands. This exam looks at the largest pair called the parotid glands. These are located inside your mouth below your ear. Glands cannot be seen without the use of contrast material (x-ray dye).
The doctor will ask you to open your mouth wide so a very small tube can be placed gently in the opening of the gland near the back of your mouth. Once the tube is in the proper position, you may be asked to hold the tube in place while the doctor injects a small amount of contrast material. The contrast material fills the salivary gland and makes it show up on radiographic images. As images are taken you may be asked to turn your head in different positions and to hold your breath.
Before the Procedure
No preparation is usually required for sialogram examination.
After the Procedure
The contrast material will drain into your mouth. It may have a bitter taste. If you swallow some of the contrast material, it is not harmful. After your exam, you can return to your normal diet and activities.