Lymph nodes are located throughout your body and are an important component in your immune system. Normally, your lymph nodes are responsible for filtering pathogens like bacteria out of your body. Your lymphatic system plays a huge role in keeping you healthy. Sometimes, you can feel your lymph node under your jaw or chin. These lymph nodes work the same way as the rest of the lymph odes in your body. If you have an infection or some type of inflammation, your lymph nodes can become swollen.
The Causes of Swollen Lymph Node Under Chin
There are many potential problems that can cause swollen lymph nodes under your chin. Often, this problem is caused by an infection or inflammation. To discover all of the possible causes, read on.
One of the most common causes of lymph node swelling is an infection. There are many, many infections that can cause your lymph nodes to swell. Some of the common infections that cause this include infectious mononucleosis, strep throat, mumps, chickenpox, ear infections, measles, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, skin infections, rubella and infected wounds. Other possible causes include a sore in your mouth, periodontal disease, impacted teeth or a tooth abscess. In rare cases, your swollen lymph nodes under the jaw can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases, eating under-cooked meats, tuberculosis or toxoplasmosis. It can even be caused by parasitic infections from casts or animal bites.
2. Immune System Problems
Your lymph nodes are a key component in your immune system. If you have a problem with your immune system, it can lead to problems in your lymphatic system. Some of the possible immune-related causes of swollen lymph nodes include lymphoma, lupus of the lungs, leukemia, HIV and rheumatoid arthritis.
Many medications can cause side effects. While swollen lymph nodes are a less common side effect, it can happen with some medications. An immunizations for malaria or typhoid can cause swollen lymph nodes. A drug used for seizures, Dilantin, can also cause lymph nodes to swell.
4. Thyroid Issues
When you are low in iodine, you can develop a large goiter in your neck. This can be due to the thyroid gland swelling or your swelling may be due to a swollen lymph node. For an iodine deficiency, consuming more iodine in your diet is a main solution. Other thyroid problems may have to be treated in different ways.
5. Other Possible Problems
There are unfortunately a wide number of causes of swollen lymph nodes. Any disease of the head or neck can cause this to happen. Tumors of the mouth, lipomas, cysts or salivary gland issues can cause your lymph nodes to swell. In addition, hyperthyroidism can cause swollen lymph nodes.
Treating Swollen Lymph Node Under Chin
In many cases, a swollen lymph node will fix itself. It may just be dealing with an infection or inflammation and need time to heal. If you are not experiencing any other problems or symptoms, then you may just need to give it time for the lymph node to heal and return to a normal size.
If the lymph node is swollen and you have other symptoms, your first goal is to go to your doctor. Often, swollen lymph nodes are a sign of an underlying problem like an infection. The only real way to treat the swollen lymph node over the long run is to fix the underlying problem. If it is swollen because of an infection, you need to recover from that infection. If it is due to hyperthyroidism, then you need to get help managing your thyroid disorder. By finding out the underlying cause, you can make sure that you remove the source of the problem instead of just the symptom. In some cases, it may take up to two weeks for the swollen glands to return to normal.
When you go to the doctor, your doctor will conduct a physical examine. They will palpate the jaw. Depending on your other symptoms, he or she may also ask for other tests to be run. This could be something as simple as a blood test, or you may be given kidney function studies, chest x-rays, liver function studies or other tests. If the doctor has ruled out other options, they may also want to do a biopsy of the affected lymph node to figure out what is going on.
Ultimately, the treatment for your swollen lymph nodes will depend on the cause. If you have an infection, you may be given antibiotics to treat the cause of the infection. Over-the-counter pain killers may be given to treat the pain associated with the swelling. If you have an immune problem, your doctor will want to figure out the actual disorder and provide a treatment for it.
If you have swollen lymph glands because of a tumor or cancer, your doctor may recommend surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. If your swollen lymph node is your only symptom though, your doctor may decide to just wait for the swelling to ease on its own. In the meantime, you can use at-home treatments to reduce the swelling and pain.
Over-the-counter medication can help reduce the pain. Natural remedies like echinacea, garlic and clover may be used to treat the infection naturally at home because of their anti-bacterial properties. Meanwhile, gargling with salt water can help remove bacteria or infections in your throat. You can also alleviate your pain by dipping a washcloth in warm water and applying it to your throat. You can also use a hot water bottle to alleviate the pain and inflammation.
Your main goal is to find the cause of the swelling before you do anything else. Your best bet is to go to your doctor first. He or she can determine if the swollen lymph node is a sign of something more serious. Your doctor can also recommend the best course of treatment and ways to alleviate your pain. To make sure that your lymph node is not a sign of a major issue, make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor and talk about all of your concerns.