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Noticed large bump behind the ear of low jaw. Face swollen. Had periodontal surgery. Help?

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General & Family Physician
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While eating a couple of days ago, I felt something in the back corner of my mouth/jaw. A large bump appeared behind my ear, the area of my jaw (outside) got really warm, and within minutes my jaw/face was swollen to a large size. I took pictures because I was shocked at the size. It reduced within hours and I was able to open my mouth better afterwards---what is this?? The sensation at first felt like I had tasted something sour inside my mouth, then the swelling. I was able to push the bump behind my ear back in.
Posted Sat, 22 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Nirmala P 2 hours later
Thanks for asking in Healthcare Magic.

Your symptoms are suggestive of parotid gland swelling due to block of salivary duct by stone. Parotid gland lies just behind the angle of jaw below and in front of ears. Chemical salts in saliva can crystallize to form a stone.

Typically the swelling occurs during mealtime and also when the person eats something sour like pickle which stimulates increased salivary secretion. Swelling occurs because the salivary ducts are blocked and the route of exit for the secreted saliva is blocked. The swelling will be in alarming size, can result in difficulty of opening the mouth, capable of reducing on its own when the salivary secretion reduces or by gentle squeezing of the gland which allows for the exit of saliva.

You should see an ENT surgeon for confirmation of diagnosis. X-Ray, CT scan and ultrasound will confirm the diagnosis. If the stone is small, the surgeon may be able to remove it manually by gentle squeezing otherwise surgical procedure like Sialendoscopy will help.

Drinking plenty of water or gentle biting of lemon which may help to flush the stone out. Mild gentle massaging with heat may also help. Another possibility is Lateral Pharyngeal Pouch but symptoms like regurgitation is common there and when you feel the swelling there may be a grating/cracking sensation due to air lock.

I hope this helps. Please address to me if you have any further concerns.
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