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Swelling in the lymph nodes under the chin and tongue. Do I need to go to a dentist?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1968
Answered : 298 Questions
About 8 days ago as I ate dinner the lymph node under my chin (towards the back of my jaw) started swelling and my tongue frenulum (? the flap of skin under my tongue) started swelling as well. Nothing comes out, as some posts on the Internet have suggested, and it's 8 days later and every time I eat, the same thing happens. The frenulum and lymph node are always a little swollen but when I eat, it gets worse. This has happened before, but lasted maybe a half a day. Please help! I don't even know if I should go see a dentist or a doctor for this, so hoping I can get some answers here.
Posted Fri, 18 May 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Andrew Rynne MD 2 hours later

Hi there. Thank you for posting your question with XXXXXXX I will do my best to help you.

What you are describing here is a blocked salivary duct. The blockage is being caused, probably, by a small stone. This can be "milked" out using a gloved finger above along your frenulum and another below in front of the enlarged "lymph gland" which is actually a salivary gland.

The trick is to keep messaging forwards along the duct in this way until the stone is expelled. An experienced general practitioner should be well able to to this for you.

I hope that I have answered your questions fully and been of some help. If you have anymore questions please contact me again anytime.

Dr Andrew Rynne.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swelling in the lymph nodes under the chin and tongue. Do I need to go to a dentist? 30 minutes later
Thank you. So both fingers in my mouth, or one inside and one outside at my lymph gland?
Answered by Dr. Andrew Rynne MD 1 hour later
Hi again. Thank you for your follow up questing.

No. One gloved finger only inside your mouth, the other outside underneath both moving together forwards from the swelling salivary gland towards your chin. It is not a lymph gland.

You may not be able to do this yourself though, in truth, you are probably better off trying than going to a doctor who may not have a clue either! If you succeed you will see the stone emerge from under your tongue. That will be the end of your problem at least for now.

If you want to prevent this from happening again then research "salivary calculi".

Let me know if I can help further.

Andrew Rynne.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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