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Swolen Gland under jaw causing pain
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Colin84 posted:
There is a swollen gland right under my jaw on the left side. It is right where the jaw meets the neck under the jaw. Only the left side is swollen, and it is causing the entire left side of my neck/face/head to hurt. My Teeth, jaw, temple, and this swollen gland all on the left side hurt the most.

I don't have a clue what this is, but this has happened to me before. It is so intense that I can feel it through 800mg of Motrin. It's kind of a throbbing pain, and the sharp pain of a toothache at the same time. When this happens it feels like the veins in the left side of my face/head/neck are pumping more blood through than the veins can support.

My mother had a history of thyroid problems, before dying of leukemia a few years ago. I'm 24 years old, and as far as I know I haven't had any thyroid problems. I am wondering what the possible cause of the swollen gland under the jaw, which I believe is causing all the pain, might be.
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
As much as I would like to help you, since I do not know anything about you, or more importantly, have any way of EXAMIINING you via the Internet, it is not possible for me to determine a specific cause of your "swollen, painful gland" based solely on your brief description. In order for you to be properly diagnosed....and treated, you would need to see your medical provider.

Lymph nodes (assuming this is what you have) enlarge and may become painful in response to inflammation and/or infection somewhere in there immediate drainage neighborhood, or less commonly, a systemic (whole body) response. Infected teeth, tonsillar infections, salivary gland infections, strep, mono, and dozens of other things are considerations.

I know you are concerned, but unless you see your medical provider....perhaps have some select diagnostic tests....a definitive cause cannot be accurately found.
 
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Colin84 responded:
I have an update on this. I went to the urgent care, and the doctor there believes that I have a condition where the salivary gland is creating stones which are causing infections. I was told that there are a couple of things to be done, but considering I don't have insurance, that I might not want to go right out and do the tests to make absolute sure that is it. He was relatively sure that is what it was, based on the location of the pain and previous situations where I pull a white piece of something out of my mouth that I thought was a piece of tooth the last time this happened.

I really don't know exactly what this condition is, and what my options are. I know that he said the tests were pretty expensive without insurance. Right now I am taking antibiotics that will hopefully get rid of the infection and the extreme pain. I'm taking tylenol 3 for that pain and that barely gets rid of the pain.

I guess my question is, what is this salivary gland condition, and what can I do about this to deal with it until I have insurance? Is it something serious enough that I should take care of sooner rather than later?
 
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
Again, I have no way of confirming or disputing your doctor's assessment, but I can say that that "white piece of something" may not have been a salivary stone. It could have just as easily been a tonsillith -- or tonsil stone (an accumulation of food and other debris trapped in little holes/crypts in your tonsils).

Yes, salivary gland infections can becomes serious. Put "salivary gland infection and emedicine) in your Google search engine for a medical article for you to read.

The human body that is ill rarely waits until we have money or insurance....illness can occur to anyone at anytime. This is really like driving around without auto insurance....the most likely time you would get in an accident.

Be resourceful and find a way to get proper care, my friend.
 
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DisGuy6 responded:
I have the same problem. I have however, had my wisdom teeth removed two weeks ago. Don't know if it can be an infection of some sort. I also had a cyst in the upper left side of my mouth near my nasal passage I believe, It was removed yet I don't know if there is anyway one relates with another.

I have a doctors appointment until March.
 
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
Basically ANY inflammation or infecton can cause the lymph nodes to enlarge.
 
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Colin84 responded:
I went to the ER monday morning because of the severe pain. They did a CT scan on my neck, and found no stones, but found inflammation in the tissue around my tonsil duct.

(my tonsils were removed at the age of 7)

The pain was relieved quickly by vicodin in the ER and monday night. The ER doctor basically called the infection strep throat, but did not rule out a stone in my salivary gland. He prescribed me vicodin 500 for the pain, and I was already prescribed bactrim for the infection on sunday morning. The severe pain was not present tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, or saturday, so I did not take vicodin. This morning at 3am I was again woken up with severe pain in the area where my submandibular gland is. I have taken 2 vicodin 500, and the pain is still there, just barely a pain I can deal with.

I think that during the 3 hour time span in the ER in which I waited to get that CT scan, the stone had passed, and the CT scan showed nothing. However, that doesn't explain why this pain is growing constantly, and making my pain medication ineffective.

Have I given enough information yet? Or do I have to again go to the ER for more expensive tests that give me no answer, and no help.
 
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ainmosni replied to Colin84's response:
have the exact same symptoms. started out by going to the dentist thinking there was something wrong there, but the gland to the right of the top of my throat is swollen and i have waves of intense pain, mostly in my jaw but that spot on my neck all the way up to my ear are effected and a headache to boot that comes with it. sometimes it is fine, and otherwise i feel fine.. but when it decides to hurt.. it does so with gusto.
 
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ainmosni replied to ainmosni's response:
also have no insurance and no tonsils.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to ainmosni's response:
So, how can I help you with your problem? Do you have a particular question that I can address?

Please keep in mind that insurance or not, I do not have any way of blindly diagnosing and treating you over the Internet based soley on the brief information in your posting. I do not know anything about you, your medical history, your age, your habits, nor do I have a way of examining you -- all essential components for an accurate diagnosis.

The WebMD health community is an educational board. Health experts cannot legally or ethically take the role as a substitute for hands-on medical care, no matter how much we would like to help you, and as sympathetic as we might be for your lack of insurance or financial resources.

I would strongly suggest that you find a free clinic or a primary care medical office that is not too expensive.
 
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wandamurline replied to Rod_Moser_PA_PhD's response:
My son has something of this nature. It started with a small swollen nodule near the mandibular which within about one week swole the hole side of his face so large that it throbbed. He went to ER and they gave him antibiotics and referred him to an ENT. On that Monday, the ENT took a CT scan and told him to stay on his antibiotics and let him know if it did not get better. It didn't...sooo we went to Dallas to meet (after getting another CT scan) with the ENT...he said that my son needed to be hospitalized and given IV antibiotics...so, we brought him back to our house. Our doctor gave him more antibiotics and steroids and pain medicine. It lasted one day...Saturday morning, he was on the floot crying (he is a grown man). Called our doctor and we went to theER in our hometown. After about two hours, some more pain meds and twomore CT scans, the doctor said he could have a cancerous tumor. Went back to Dallas to the ER at SW University Hospital ith all CT scans and files...finally got admitted....they put him on IVs ...antibiotics and pain...stayed four days, did anther CT scan. Swelling never stopped. We met after four days the ENT who work for SWU and we went to his clinic for a needle biopsy...results inconclusive. Son went on to have a Surgical iopsy, and the doctor removed 5cc of old blood which allowed the swelling to subside by about 30% and helped with the pain. Results came...inconclusive...not cancerous, not lymphoma, not Lukemia...still swollen. Wanted another needle biopsy with sonogram....did that last Friday....now area is swollen back to original size with excrudiating pain. No insurance....we are now looking at thousands of dollars and no one has a damn clue what to do.... Last results are not in as yet. I am getting very frustrated, as I am over 4 hours drive away and feel helpless. Got any ideas.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to wandamurline's response:
I know this is frustrating to you and your family, but sometimes a definitive diagnosis can be very challenging. Your son is at a major medical center with wondeful resources, so I am sure that he will be under the best of care. As much as I would like to help, I do not know the details of case, test results, or have any way of examining him myself.

My heart goes out to you......
 
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isa1032 replied to wandamurline's response:
I was wondering how your son was doing hopefully he is better than he was 3 months ago . my husband is having the same kind of symptoms and still in alot of pain was hoping to hear an update on his condition maybe we can mention it to the doc next time he goes to his appointment
 
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roughneckjarhead replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Sir,
You keep saying brief description...These people are giving you very detailed information that I have researched myself because of my issue. I have found more information just researching in 5 minutes than you have provided. Stop being so scared of being sued and throw out some INFO. It seems in every one of your posts that you mention something to do with "I cannot..." or "Find a clinic...". We are not looking for an accurate diagnosis on here, just some opinions, possibilities, hope, and maybe some direction.


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