A Sialogram uses an injection of contrast dye into the salivary ducts in the floor, or cheek, of the mouth to check for blockages and other pathologies in the ducts.

The dye is x-rayed as it passes through the ducts. The study is done by a radiologist.

This procedure is available at the following Jones Radiology locations:


You are asked to lie flat on an x-ray table with a small cushion under your head. The radiologist will place a small cannula into the salivary duct of concern by asking you to open your mouth widely. A bright light or torch and magnifying equipment may be needed to see the ducts as they are very small. Sometimes, a small amount of lemon juice is squirted in your mouth to open the duct and make the placement of the cannula much easier. You are asked to close your mouth once the cannula is in place. A small amount of tape around the cannula tubing will hold the cannula in place against your cheek. You will be asked to remain still when the contrast is injected as the ducts are difficult to see on x-ray if you move. It takes a few seconds to take the necessary pictures. The dye will pass into the duct, and you may feel a little pressure. You may get a small amount of dye in your mouth, but this is safe.

Risks / Side effects

If x-ray contrast is administered, there is a small risk of an allergic reaction. A mild allergic reaction occurs in 1/1000 injections and includes a rash, hives or sneezing. More severe reactions such as difficulty breathing are less common. Severe life-threatening reactions are extremely rare (1 in 170,000).

Before your Scan

No specific preparation is required. You can eat and drink before and after the procedure. If you are on any regular medication or have diabetes and are on insulin, take your usual medication and diet.

Please tell us if you have an iodine allergy, or are pregnant.


A Sialogram takex approximately 15 minutes.

Other Information

After the injection, the contrast used can be a little sticky to touch. Gently clean the skin with a damp flannel or cloth if you have some remaining contrast near your mouth.

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