Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Do lymph nodes burst?"


When I went to sleep last night, I noticed a swelling under my jawline, which I think was a lymph node. This morning when I woke up, that area felt really swollen and puffy, but I couldn't feel the lymph node anymore. Is it possible that the node burst? What should I do.


Anytime you get a new swollen bump that is painful, it should be evaluated by a physician as early as possible. Swollen lymph nodes are usually a sign of infection which may need to be treated with an antibiotic depending on the cause. A swelling under the jawline can be one of several things.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

A lymph node is certainly possible and if you've felt a little under the weather lately, it could be a lymph node fighting an infection. Also in that area are salivary glands that make saliva for our mouth. These can also get infected and be puffy and swollen. Without some obvious trauma to the area, it would be very unusual for a lymph nod to burst. They are surround by tough capsule and are not under any significant pressure to allow for them to burst. Its still possible, but its much more likely that you have some soft tissue inflammation that got worse overnight. I would schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible to get your neck looked at. If you develop any additional symptoms (fever, night sweats, pain while chewing etc), you should be seen right away. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.