What Could Be the Reason of Lump Under the Chin?

Q: I’m 24 years old female. I have a hard lump directly under my chin, not in my throat. I have had an itchy throat and have always has a lot of phlegm. I noticed the lump three days ago. My sister has had two benign tumors removed from her throat in the last 3 years. I don’t know if this is important information but I thought it would be helpful. I don’t have any other symptoms besides scratchy throat phlegm and hard lump. The lump does not hurt. Do you think this is just an infection or should I take it more seriously?
By: Amanda

Reply:

This is the location of the submental group of lymph nodes. Looks like an enlarged lymph node there.

Swollen Lymph Node

The commonest cause of having such lymph nodes is any chronic (persistent) infection.

Our face and neck region has  a lot of blood and lymph supply. So, any source of infection in or around this area may lead to the enlargement of these lymph nodes.

These causes would include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Swollen/ infected gums
  • Throat infection
  • Sinusitis
  • Viral infections like, mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus in the past.
  • Any autoimmune pathology in the body, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Here, other symptoms suggestive of these conditions would also be present.

It would be advisable to first rule out any of these infections as the source of lymph node enlargement.

Signs and Symptoms

If you have an enlarged lymph node under your chin, you’re likely to be having some of the signs listed below.

  • Present or recent infection in the throat, oral cavity or nearby area
  • A swollen gland, that’s usually painful to touch
  • The lump is soft to firm to touch
  • Lump is movable
  • It may be a single smooth lump or more than one in number
  • Referred pain in the ear may be there
  • Mild fever or sick feel

Recognizing Tumorous Lymph Nodes

Tumor glands would become hard with time and get somewhat attached to the underlying structures. If you try to move them, the movement would be restricted.

They are usually not painful. Other symptoms suggesting malignancy may accompany. These include, loss of weight, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, frequent spells of illness, mood depressions etc.

Malignancy in the lymph node is secondary to some primary cancer present elsewhere. So, if you have a malignant node, the primary site needs to be investigated at the earliest. Read in details about such lumps.

Other Causes may include the following.

Salivary Gland Stone

Submental salivary glands are located just below our chin. It’s common to get a stone there.

A stone in the gland can be felt as a hard node, which is usually movable. It’s gritty, smooth or slightly irregular when felt. You may be able to hold it between your two fingers. It may or may not grow in size with time.

Usually, no intervention is required. The stone remains as such or may decrease in size with time.

Sebaceous cyst

These may occur any where over the skin. Region under the chin is a common place for its occurrence. A sebaceous cyst is formed when any of the duct draining skin glands gets blocked.

  • Such swellings are located over the surface of the skin. They are soft to firm and not painful, unless infected.
  • These cysts are filled with a yellowish white pasty stuff, called sebum.
  • A sebaceous cyst may stay as such and gradually regress with time. Or, it may grow in size.
  • In cases where it grows in size or gets infected, it needs to be removed.

Pulled Neck Muscle

A swelled portion of the neck muscle may present as a small lump there. When palpated, the feel is firm and tough, like that of the muscle.

You may have difficulty moving the neck. Movements become restricted. The lump is localized to one side, and the patient is usually able to associate some injury or rash movement with it.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “What May Cause Lump Under the Chin?

  1. J Webb

    Hello, 2 nights ago I noticed that it felt sore above my front tooth when I brushed my teeth before bed. I didn’t really think anything of it until I brushed my teeth again yesterday morning. I looked closely in the mirror and I could see a little cut in my gums along with a bunch of tiny little puncture type cuts. I am assuming it’s from my toothbrush bristles. I didn’t brush my teeth any more yesterday but I rinsed my mouth out with peroxil instead. When I woke up this morning the palate behind my two front teeth on top feels really swollen. My gums are puffy in the front around my front teeth and my teeth feel sore when I bite down. Is this normal with a healing oral wound?
    please help

    Reply
  2. serafin

    I’m 33yrs old. My head feels so heavy and dizzy everyday, sometimes I feel like I am going to lose consciousness and feel so weak, my throat gets dry when I take a deep breath and there a sticky saliva in my throat that won’t go away there is pressure on my sinus also. I also feel pain on the left back side of my ear sometimes and hear high frequency sound. My ear hurts also when I hear loud sounds. I have no appetite and difficult to swallow sometimes food got stuck on my throat. Feel like this for more than a month now and I think it’s getting worst. Having check up every week for a month now but I’m not getting better. Last month, I also have numbness/cramp that start in my left stomach numbness spread to the right stomach all the way to my hands, throat and at the back of my neck.

    Reply
  3. Jean

    I have a swelling under my chin which feels hard and becomes painful once a while followed by fever. What might be the cause?
    I have been having this swelling for almost 13 years.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      These may be swollen lymph nodes. Like some people have a tendency to get swollen tonsils, your submental (under the chin) lymph nodes may be swollen.

      They swell up whenever they catch an infective germ. As the infection weans off, they may regress in size.

      Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Yes, very likely to be.

          Apart from this, just check up if there’s any decaying tooth/ infected tooth in your mouth. That can also be a source of bloody sputum.

          Reply
  4. david

    I have lump under my chin I experience joint and mucsle aches in different places of body.I noticed this lump after experiencing an itchy throat,after the cold stopped the lump is still there and I still experience slight muscle aches.

    What could this be,could someone help

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The commonest cause of having a swollen lymph node there is any infection in the throat, present or past. However, if your throat gets well and the node still persists to be there or grows in size, you need to be checked up.

      Your doctor would carry out some blood work to detect the cause.

      Reply
  5. Nick

    I have a small bump underneath my chin and it’s a little sore when I touch it. It feels hard and other than being sore to the touch, it’s doesn’t bother me. I’m 28 and I smoke. Also, my cigarettes have been making me gag sometimes when i take a drag, i think thats just the chemicaly taste but im not sure. Any ideas what it might be?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      It could be a swollen gland that has hardened or else a stone in your salivary gland. Needs to be examined for diagnosis.

      Smoking makes you prone to malignancies. So, it’s better to get this examined by a doctor.

      Reply
  6. Amarion

    My name is Amarion I am 12 years old and I have a small bump under my chin and it doesn’t bother me it doesnt hurt I don’t smoke I just want to know what is happening and will it go away after a short period of time or will I grow out of it

    Reply
  7. elainea

    My son, Roby, has a lump under his chin and one on the right side of this back, I’m very worried what it could be what should we do?

    Reply
  8. elainea

    He did not get hurt or anything. The lumps are hard and the skin around it is soft. They have only been there for about 6 days. Should I be concerned? Well, I am very worried about it so I’m going to take him to the doctors tomorrow. How can they tell what they are if I take him to the ER? Will I know before we leave the ER?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Better to get checked up. It’s likely that you would be referred to some other doctor from the ER for diagnosis.

      Reply
  9. H

    I have one lump on each side (bilateral) just under the jaw. They are not fixed, can compress and move them about. This is a persistent situation (they’ve been bigger/smaller for almost a year now). Both lumps are about the same size. Are these a cause for concern?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Unlikely to be cancerous or any thing serious.

      These are likely to be swollen glands. You get it after having some infection in that area, like sore throat, etc.

      Reply
  10. Usha

    I have a lump in center of chin. It is hard and painful. I also have sore throat. I had burning sensation in my head before two weeks of lump. And my body weight gets increasing what may be reason?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You need to go to a doctor for full evaluated.

      Your thyroid profile needs to be done. The lump may be a hardened lymph node or a stone in your salivary gland.

      Reply
  11. Robert

    I have a small hard lump under my chin. It hurts for a few seconds every now and again. I went to the doctor 6 months ago and they said it was just a swollen gland. Since then, it has gotten a little smaller but has not completely disappeared. Now there are 2 of them.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Are they movable? If not, let us know.

      Glands may take months to disappear. You get them more often if you suffer from sore throat.

      Reply
          1. Robert

            When I went earlier this year (February) it was diagnosed as lymphadenopathy. So I should go back?

  12. Kirsty

    I have a medium size lump slightly left of my chin, it does not hurt, it is soft but very red and warm, and very noticeable. I have no other symptoms. The doctor I have seen believe’s it to be an ingrown hair, but when checking I cannot see any hair, and there is no head (i.e no pus) I have had it about 2 1/2 weeks now. I am not bothered by it until someone points it out. Could it be something else?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Well, this needs to be examined for diagnosis.

      An ingrown hair is located on the surface, that is the skin. If it’s deeper, it may be a lymph node.

      Ingrown hair may not be visible. It may be deep inside.

      Since it is warm to touch, the lump is likely to be infected. You may need antibiotics for this.

      Reply
  13. Aravindvcm

    I quit smoking for 1month. I see a soft movable lump below my chin. It’s not paining it’s soft and movable. Is it cancer. I am not loosing weight maintaining steady weight profile. Is it cancer.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Very unlikely to be cancer.

      However, since you’ve been a smoker, it’s better to go for a thorough oral examination to see for any growth or other signs of cancer there.

      Reply
      1. Aravindvcm

        I been to a dentist 1 month back on visual inspection she said no sign of cancer. But off late I am having lots of heat boils everywhere in my body and mouth which decreases with b complex tablets. Please give guidance.

        Reply
  14. Kev

    I have 2 hard non-movable lumps about 1 inch below my jawline in the center of my neck/throat. It is painless, have not had any other symptoms. The two bumps are right next to each other.

    Reply
  15. Pooja

    There is lump in both sides under the jawline ..both r movable and soft but i fell them since last 8 mnths ..they r not painfull ..but whenever i fell sore throat and hve cold &cough .. it feels bigger in size ..so r they lymph glands …? Or anything serious..

    Reply
  16. Elena

    I discovered a small lump unmovable directly under the chin. What it can be? I dont have pains in the throat. thanks.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      May be a salivary gland stone or hardened lymph node.

      Even if you have no symptoms, it’s better to check with an ENT and get it diagnosed.

      Reply
  17. Sydney

    My boyfriend has a small bump under his chin. I just noticed it one day ago I don’t think it’s warm and you can’t see it I found it by feeling of his throat. Feels like its directly in the middle maybe slightly more to his right. he is 24 non smoker and no symptoms, seems very healthy. Doesn’t affect anything or his appetite, he wants to eat all the time actually. He just had his check up a month ago and blood work and everything was good. He had a ear pain/earache that lasted around a day not long ago and he has tonsil stones, also he bit his jaw/gum twice lately. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. Its also probably only 1-2 cm big and doesn’t hurt. Im not sure if its movable or not. He is skinny 6’0 and only weighs 185 so im also not sure if we are just feeling a bone or lymph nodes or glands. Any help would be great thank you

    Reply
  18. Sydney

    It’s hard. I guess it has a smooth boundary? I think its his bone. I have one to in the same spot and on the same side (right side) but you can feel his a lot more but I weigh more and have a fatty neck. So I guess that’s why. And it moves when he swallows like the hyoid bone.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Unlikely to be any thing serious.

      Appears to be his bone, or else may a salivary gland stone. Needs to be examined for exact diagnosis.

      Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Need to be examined for confirming the diagnosis.

      If it’s a stone, no medicine required. Stones stay symptom less till the become big enough to block the duct draining the salivary gland.

      Your doctor may suggest you activities that increase saliva production, like sucking a hard candy etc. This would produce more of saliva giving a chance to the stone to get flushed out.

      Reply
  19. Sydney

    If it is a stone, where will it go when it gets flushed out? It will just disappear? And its hard and does not move or hurt.

    Reply
  20. Sydney

    Well now it feels as if its gone down some. I’m starting to think its a swollen lymph node. Since he had ear pain and then pressure in his ear (like a earache). I also think It doesn’t feel as hard. Do you think its a stone that’s going away (he’s been drinking a lot of water sucking hard lemon candy’s and massaged it) or a lymph node?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Difficult to comment without actual examination.

      Since it’s regressing fast, it’s more likely to be a lymph node.

      Reply
  21. Ry

    I have a lump slightly bigger than pee size and it is under my chin slightly to the left side. Its not solid but its not soft and is movable if i try push it around. It hurts slightly when I push on it. I had the flu a week or two ago and its been two weeks I thinks its got slightly smaller but im starting to worry.

    Reply
      1. Buddy M.D. Post author

        This one is very likely to be an enlarged lymph node. Doesn’t sound worrisome.

        Could have enlarged as a sequel to your throat infection. Give it time to regress gradually by itself.

        Reply

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