Our body has a very strong immune system. This system protects our body from dangerous diseases and infections. It consists of many glands which are present in the neck or under the jaw, armpit, collarbone and groin. These glands are also known as lymph glands or lymph nodes. There is a group of several lymph nodes which are small, bean-shaped tissues responsible for the production of antibodies that fight against many infections.
These glands cannot be seen under normal condition but they can swell up due to various reasons and then become visible. Swelling is very common in the glands under the jaw, in both children and adults. There are many causes of swollen glands under jaw which can hamper the immune system of our body. So, let's find out some of the major causes of swollen glands in throat or under the jaw.
Swollen Glands Under Jaw Causes
Swelling in the glands is a result of enlargement of the lymph nodes. This may be caused due to many reasons which may be acute or chronic. Hence, if you find prolonged swelling in the glands you should consult a doctor. Following are some of the causes of swollen glands in throat or under jaws which can help you know the exact reason behind the enlarged lymph nodes.
Infections are one of the major cause of swollen glands. The infection can be bacterial or viral. Due to the attack of these microorganisms, the white blood cells in the lymph nodes get active and start producing antibodies very rapidly. This results in the swelling of the lymph nodes. It can be quite painful and the swelling can be seen over the neck. Some of the most common infections are common cold, strep throat, throat infections, tonsillitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, etc. Ear infection, measles, rubella, chickenpox, glandular fever, etc. may also result in swollen glands.
Immune System Disorders
Many immune system disorders like rheumatoid arthritis which affects the joints and lupus which is an inflammatory diseases that can affect the joints, skin, blood cells, etc. may result in swollen glands. Apart from these, HIV is also among the most dangerous immune system disorders which affects the lymph nodes and causes them to swell up.
Cancer can be a reason behind the swollen lymph nodes. It can be caused due to lymphoma which is associated with the lymphatic system or leukemia which is also known as blood cancer. It can also be caused due to other types of cancer which may spread to the lymph nodes. You may observe the swelling but the pain may depend upon the type of cancer.
Goiter is a thyroid disease which is caused due to the deficiency of iodine in the body. In this disease the neck swells up so much that it can be very distinctly visible. It can be easily detected and can be avoided by regular intake of iodine.
Gum diseases or gingivitis, tooth cavity and cropping of wisdom tooth may also result in the swelling up of lymph nodes.
Side Effects of Medicines
Medications for malaria, sarcoidosis and Kawasaki disease may have some side effects which may result in swollen lymph nodes. These side effects may vanish with time, without any treatment. But if results in excess swelling and pain, then consult a doctor immediately.
How to Treat Swollen Glands Under Jaw
Swollen glands can be treated by identifying the cause behind the swelling. You need to first find out what is bothering your lymph nodes, it will help you to treat them more effectively. Following are some of the treatments which can help you to overcome the problem of swollen lymph node.
- The easiest and most effective home remedy is to gargle with warm salty water at least 2 to 3 times a day. It will ease the pain, throat infection and will also reduce the swelling.
- You can wet a clean towel in warm water and wrap it around the neck. It is a type of heat therapy which will relieve the pain and will reduce the swelling and inflammation.
- Mix lavender oil and petroleum jelly and apply it on the swollen part. It will reduce the swelling considerably.
- Ginger tea is also said to be great in curing swollen glands under the jaw.
- If you don't experience any relief from the home remedies, then consult a doctor. He may prescribe you some medications and antibiotics to cure infections. These will help to reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation.
- Include iodine in your daily diet to avoid the occurrence of goiter.
You can use some home remedies in the first place which can be helpful in treating it initially, but if you don't get relief within 2 to 3 days then consult a doctor. The healing time will totally depend upon the causes behind the swollen glands. So, try to get the cause diagnosed in the initial stage itself to avoid further complications.