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?
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
- 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.
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.