ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have swelling under my jaw?

Question

Why do I have swelling under my jaw?

There is a swollen spot under my jaw on the left side. It is also tender if I touch it. Why am I swollen under the jawline and where did this swelling come from?

Answer

I think the most likely possibility here is that this tender spot is a swollen lymph node. As you probably know, the lymph nodes are an important part of the body's immune system, and they react when there is an infection that needs to be fought off. In particular, the glands under the jaw are involved in fighting off common infections in the mouth and throat. You should see your primary care doctor about this issue. If indeed this is due to an infection in the throat or mouth, they will be able to help you determine whether that infection feds treatment, for example with antibiotics. Also, sometimes, a lymph node may actually develop an abscess inside of it as part of its role in fighting off the infection, and this may occasionally need to opened and drained to allow things to heal up. Also, it is important to rule out potential causes of this swelling other than a lymph node. For example, the salivary glands are located under the jaw, and sometimes they can become blocked by a stone or even occasionally become infected. Start by going to see your primary care doctor for an evaluation as soon as possible.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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