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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: Pea sized lump in jaw

 scarletmelody - Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:14 pm

I randomly noticed about a week ago a pea sized lump in my right jaw, under the skin, but not feel-able from the inside. Direct line down from the outside corner of my eye, right above my jaw line. I can move it in three directions (not toward my ear), but not far. It doesn't hurt, unless I feel it more than not, then it slightly aches. My jaw on that side has been aching off and on, but I'm not sure if it's because of the lump, or randomly because of my TMJ which hasn't acted up in years (and still isn't, really). I plan on getting it checked out, but am on vacation for a few weeks and don't want to start appointments out of town. Any idea of what it might be? I've read everything from salivary glands to lymph nodes (are they in that location?) to cancer.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:55 pm

User avatar Hello,
It is difficult to tell what this swelling could be without direct examination. Associated symptoms and signs make it more easily to think of possible causes.
However, a swelling in this area could be an enlarged lymph node or salivary gland related swelling.

Since most stones of the salivary gland ducts do not block a duct completely, they usually result mild gland swelling, and dull pain over the gland that increase after meals especially sour ones. A stone of the size you described may lead to complete occlusion of the duct resulting in more pain and swollen gland.
So early diagnosis and proper management is important. Proper hydration would be helpful while waiting for your doctor’s visit.

A stone can be seen by X-ray picture.

The other possibility would be an enlarged lymph node due to inflammation or previous infections in the area drained by them. In this case the drained area would include the oral cavity, the tempromandibular joint, the gland and the ear.

Direct clinical examination is essential to exclude any other causes.
Hope you find this information useful.
Best regards.

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