Usually there is no need to worry about swollen lumps or glands under the skin. A sore throat or cold can cause the swelling of the lymph nodes under your jaw, on either side of the neck or behind your ears.

Enlargement of the glands can be caused by serious infections too, making them tender and firm. Injuries like bites or cuts or tumors of the neck, mouth or head can also cause tenderness and swell the glands. The lumps might be painless or painful, firm or soft, multiple or single depending on their cause. They might remain the same size or grow too quickly.

What Causes Lump in My Jaw?

Lump in jaw is not a serious issue but if it starts hurting then it is important that you must consult a doctor immediately.

Lump in jaw that hurts

Making an appointment with and getting the opinion of an otolaryngologist or an ENT physician is the recommended course of action if the big or small lump on jaw is causing you pain. This pain might be originating from any of the various structures that lie under your jaw.

For instance, the neck contains hundreds of lymph nodes which are an important component of the immune system. Jugulodigastric lymph nodes are the big lymph nodes located on each side of the jaw and it is highly likely that the pain is being felt in them since they are known to swell up while the body is battling inflammation or infection. The swelling in these lymph nodes can also be caused because of a serious illness like cancer.

The submandibular gland is a saliva gland located underneath the jaw and is another of the structures that might cause pain and small lump under chin. The swelling and pain in this gland usually results from stones in the gland or various other processes. The ENT specialist will be better able to examine the jaw and give his/her opinion about the lump you have.


Lump in jaw that can move around

What if I have lump in my jaw that is capable of moving around? It is a common issue faced by many people during their childhood which remains with them even after they grow up. Usually if the lump is movable it means that it isn’t attached with another tissue and thus is nothing as serious as cancer. It might be a slightly large gland or a fatty tissue which is totally harmless. Such movable lumps can be caused due to injuries like fractured jaw and internal trauma which results in localized swelling. Movable lumps can also be noncancerous growths like a lipoma, a cyst or a cystic lesion caused because of acne.


Can it be tumor or cancer?

A large or even small lump under chin is sometimes feared by people to be a tumor. However, most of the time such a lump is nothing to worry about unless it starts causing jaw pain which increases with the passage of time and becomes acute when you eat. Other symptoms that might indicate that the lump on chin or jaw is a tumor or cancer include swelling of the jaw, moving teeth, localized facial swelling, tingling or numbness in the jaw and swollen lymph nodes. If you experience these symptoms then it is best to see the doctor immediately.


Other causes for lump in jaw

The rapid outset of lump in jaw accompanied with pain can possibly be caused by the following medical conditions. It is best to discuss your symptoms with your doctor as there might be other possible causes for the small lump on jaw.

  • Dental abscess

  • Cervical adenitis

  • Osteomyelitis

  • Ludwig’s angina

  • Sinusitis

  • Lock jaw

  • Broken jaw

  • Par otitis

Advice from Others Who Have Been There

I would get the lump on jaw checked by a doctor immediately. My dentist thought that the lump I had on my jawbone was because of an abscessed tooth but when I went to get it pulled out, it turned out to be a 4cm cancerous tumor. I was shocked to say the least as I had ignored it for a long time which turned out to be a big mistake. So, I suggest that you don’t make that mistake and get the lump checked out immediately. Another thing you must keep in mind is that I was a smoker, the cancer might be associated with it.

My mother freaked out when she saw a lump on her jaw but she had it checked out by a doctor. It turned out to be a TMJ issue and some fluid that got accumulated there. She had to take antibiotics and make use of a warm compress for some time to get if off. I hope that is the same for you.


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  • NicoleNov.16 18:59
    I'm 16 years old and right under my chin on my jaw bone there is a good size lump it doesn't hurt when I don't touch it. But when I press on it sometimes it will move and sometimes it won't but the pain is a killer. I got my tonsils and adenoids revmoved last year. I called my doctor and made an appointment but I noticed it lastnight and I have been freaking out since I noticed it.
  • Destiney RenéOct.17 14:16
    Hi, I have a lump in my cheek and it's attached to my lower bone in my jaw. It's very painful and it makes ithe hard for me to talk, eat, or really do anything. Everywhere I check they're always talking about their lump is moving or it only hurts when they're sick. But mines is like a hard lump growing on my bone. Anybody know why
  • JoslynOct.6 03:27
    Hello, I have a bump right underneath my jawline. It has the ability to move around, and when it does it hurts badly. Also when I touch it. I don't know what to tell my parents because of how worried they can get. Any advice about what I should do?
  • callum sheltonSep.22 13:44
    Hi im 16 and have a pea sized lump on the side of my jaw it is tender cant be moved and is hard what could this be im freaking out cause of the highest risk of cancer
  • clemen a.perezAug.4 12:20
    Hi i had a lump under my ears connected to my jaw it almost 2months and im afraid coz sometimes is small and somtimes its big..but i dont feel anything pain from it..its not moving too and its i need to consult to a physician...
  • Lauryn LeighJun.15 23:00
    Hi I'm 16 and i have this penny sized lump on my right jawline. It doesn't hurt or anything its just worrisome because i can kinda move it around and I've had it for as long as i can remember. I read this article discussing lymph nodes and cancers and its really freaking me out.. Should I be concerned??
  • JeicoApr.5 01:31
    I got this kind of lumps since i was in grade school and im 27 know and i still have them and i got five of them, they dont hurt at all but really makes me worried sometimes.
  • amber hollandMar.31 17:45
    Sounds like lymph nodes
  • Jessica DonMar.29 12:27
    My two years old daughter has a lump on both of her jaw which are not painful.The lumps are still there for a year now.I did took her to the hospital for a TB blood test bt it was negative.I even took her to the x ray but TB negative. She's healthy and she eats well.But I'm still sacred about the lumps.Can you help me out. Ta! Jessica
  • Aaron DrakeMar.3 23:46
    I'm 14 and have a little nugget underneath my left jaw right before my ear that I can wiggle around and I don't know if it's normal or not but please reply
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