About all

Abscess jaw line: What A Lump On The Jawline Could Indicate

What A Lump On The Jawline Could Indicate

Top Articles

More Articles

Published date field
Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

If you noticed a lump along your jawline this morning, many conditions could be the culprit. Is the lump small or large, soft or firm, mobile or fixed, painless or tender? Any treatment will depend on the cause, so keep reading to learn more about lumps on the jawline.

What Causes a Lump on the Jawline?

A bump, mass, or swollen area along the jawline might cause a fright. However, the lump could indicate many harmless or easily treatable conditions — from something as simple as an insect sting to as common as a swollen lymph node. Tumors — both cancerous and benign — are rarer but should always be ruled out by a medical provider. Check out these common causes for jawline lumps:

Abscessed Tooth

A severely abscessed tooth usually develops from an untreated cavity. The harmful bacteria reach the blood vessels and nerves in the tooth’s inner chamber to infect the pulp canal system. A tooth fracture, severe trauma, or problems with the existing root canal can also lead to an abscessed tooth. The abscess can cause significant swelling, forming a lump along your jawline. The onset of the swelling is usually rapid and severely painful.

Treatment: Make an appointment with your dentist immediately to examine the tooth. Treatment usually requires extraction or a root canal. Your dentist might also drain the area and prescribe antibiotics for the infection.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

A movable lump on your jawbone could indicate a swollen lymph node. A network of lymph nodes helps your immune system protect your body from illnesses. These lymph nodes are located in the head and neck, including under the jaw and chin. When your lymph nodes swell, it usually signals the presence of an infection, such as the cold, flu, ear infection, sinus infection, strep throat, and more. An abscessed tooth can also cause a swollen lymph node. The swollen lymph node can vary in size and might feel tender when you touch it, chew or turn your head.

Treatment: You will need to treat the underlying infection to reduce your lymph node swelling. Your dentist or physician might prescribe an antibiotic or antiviral medication or an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to treat the inflammation. Severe cases might require the lymph nodes to be drained of pus.

Cysts or Benign Tumors

Other non-cancerous growths might also cause a lump to appear along your jawline. Cysts are sacs filled with fluid or other matter, while benign tumors are formed when cells divide at an abnormal rate. These cysts and tumors cannot infect neighboring tissue or spread throughout the body. Though they are generally pain-free to the touch, these cysts and tumors can cause discomfort when they grow and put pressure on nearby structures.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

Treatment: Your dental professional or physician will most likely recommend surgical removal, which might include removing nearby teeth, tissue, or jawbone. A pathologist will examine the removed tissue to confirm the tumor is benign or malignant. Depending on the growth’s size and impact, you might also require surgery to reconstruct the jawbone or other parts of the mouth.


Cancerous lumps can also form along the jawbone. Though these cancerous growths are more likely to affect older adults, they can appear at any age. The lumps usually feel hard and are not tender or painful to the touch. Cancer can cause a lump to form near your chin in several ways:

  • By affecting a nearby organ, such as the mouth, throat, thyroid, or salivary glands.
  • By spreading from a different organ to the lymph nodes.
  • Through nonmelanoma skin cancer.
  • Through sarcoma or lymphoma.

Treatment: If you are diagnosed with a cancerous tumor, your physician might recommend chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery to remove the lump. Your health, the type of cancer, and its progress will all inform your treatment plan.

Other Causes

Other causes for a lump on the jawline not indicated above could include:

  • Injury or trauma to the jaw
  • Salivary duct stones
  • Acne
  • Insect sting or bite

When Should You See a Doctor for Lump Under Jawline?

In some cases, a lump along the jawline will go away on its own. Contact your dentist or physician immediately if the lump is:

  • Painful
  • Growing
  • Unexplained
  • Present for more than two weeks
  • Accompanied by weight loss or fever
  • Causing difficulty breathing or swallowing

Your dentist might refer you to an oral surgeon, oral pathologist, or a head and neck surgeon for further examination.

Sometimes the lump cannot be prevented. However, you can practice good oral hygiene to help prevent abscessed teeth. You can also reduce your risk of oral cancer through lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and minimizing alcohol consumption. Seeing your dentist at least twice a year can also help identify any problems as early.

Before you begin to worry, check for the warning signs listed above, and make an appointment to see your dentist. They can help identify the cause and create a treatment plan so your jawline returns to normal as quickly as possible.

Was this article helpful?



Thank you for submitting your feedback!

If you’d like a response, Contact Us.

Dental abscess | NHS inform

A dental abscess is a collection of pus that can form inside the teeth, in the gums, or in the bone that holds the teeth in place. It’s caused by a bacterial infection.

An abscess at the end of a tooth is called a periapical abscess. An abscess in the gum is called a periodontal abscess.

Dental abscesses are often painful, but aren’t always. In either case, they should be looked at by a dentist.

It’s important to get help as soon as possible, because abscesses don’t go away on their own. They can sometimes spread to other parts of the body and make you ill.

This page covers:

Symptoms of a dental abscess

What to do if you have a dental abscess

Relieving your symptoms

Treatments for a dental abscess

What causes dental abscesses?

Preventing dental abscesses

Symptoms of a dental abscess

Symptoms of an abscess in your tooth or gum may include:

  • an intense, throbbing pain in the affected tooth or gum that may come on suddenly and gets gradually worse
  • pain that spreads to your ear, jaw and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum
  • pain that’s worse when lying down, which may disturb your sleep
  • redness and swelling in your face
  • a tender, discoloured and/or loose tooth
  • shiny, red and swollen gums
  • sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
  • bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste in your mouth

If the infection spreads, you may also develop a high temperature (fever) and feel generally unwell. In severe cases, you may find it hard to fully open your mouth and have difficulty swallowing or breathing.

What to do if you have a dental abscess

You should see a dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a dental abscess. Avoid visiting your GP, as there is little they can do to help.

You can get help from:

  • your registered dentist – if it’s out of hours, they should have an answerphone message with details of how to access out-of-hours dental treatment
  • NHS 24 111 service – who can give you details of dental services in your area
  • your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) – who can tell you the phone number of your local dental access helpline
  • your local accident and emergency (A&E) department – if there are no other options or you’re having difficulty breathing

You may have to pay for emergency NHS dental treatment, depending on your circumstances. Read about NHS dental charges.

Relieving your symptoms

While you’re waiting to see a dentist, painkillers can help control your pain.

Ibuprofen is the preferred painkiller for dental abscesses, but if you’re unable to take it for medical reasons, you can take paracetamol instead. Aspirin shouldn’t be given to children under 16.

If one painkiller doesn’t relieve the pain, taking both paracetamol and ibuprofen at the doses shown in the medicine leaflet may help. This is safe for adults, but not for children under 16.

It may also help to:

  • avoid hot or cold food and drink if it makes the pain worse
  • try eating cool, soft foods if possible, using the opposite side of your mouth
  • use a soft toothbrush and temporarily avoid flossing around the affected tooth

These measures can help relieve your symptoms temporarily, but you shouldn’t use them to delay getting help from a dentist.

Treatments for a dental abscess

Dental abscesses are treated by removing the source of the infection and draining away the pus.

Depending on the location of the abscess and how severe the infection is, possible treatments include:

  • removing the affected tooth (extraction) – this may be necessary if root canal treatment isn’t possible
  • root canal treatment – a procedure to remove the abscess from the root of an affected tooth before filling and sealing it
  • incision and drainage – where a small cut (incision) is made in the gum to drain the abscess (this is usually only a temporary solution and further treatment may be needed)

Local anaesthetic will usually be used to numb your mouth for these procedures. More extensive operations may be carried out under general anaesthetic (where you’re asleep).

Antibiotics aren’t routinely prescribed for dental abscesses, but may be used if the infection spreads or is particularly severe.

What causes dental abscesses?

Your mouth is full of bacteria, which form a sticky film on your teeth called plaque.

If you don’t keep your teeth clean, acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can damage your teeth and gums, leading to tooth decay or gum disease.

The following can increase your chances of developing a dental abscess:

  • poor oral hygiene – plaque can build-up on your teeth if you don’t floss and brush your teeth regularly
  • consuming lots of sugary or starchy food and drink – these can encourage the growth of bacteria in plaque and may lead to decay that can result in an abscess
  • an injury or previous surgery to your teeth or gums – bacteria can get into any damaged parts of the teeth or gums
  • having a weakened immune system – this includes people with certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, and those having treatment, including steroid medication or chemotherapy 

Preventing dental abscesses

You can reduce your risk of developing dental abscesses by keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

To do this, you should:

  • use floss or an interdental brush at least once a day to clean between your teeth and under the gum line
  • brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day – spending at least two minutes each time
  • avoid rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing because this washes the protective toothpaste away – just spit out any excess toothpaste
  • cut down on sugary and starchy food and drinks – particularly between meals or shortly before going to bed
  • visit your dentist regularly – your dentist can suggest how often you should have a check-up, based on your oral health 

Read more on how to keep your teeth clean and dental check-ups.

Abscess of the oral cavity – symptoms, causes of development, treatment, prevention, prognosis

Abscess of the oral cavity – an inflammatory disease in which there is an accumulation of pus in the tissues of the oral cavity. It can be the gum, tongue, cheek. With an abscess, there is localized swelling and thickening of tissues, significant pain when pressed, weakness, fever. The dentist diagnoses the disease based on the results of a visual examination of the patient’s oral cavity and the presence of signs of tissue inflammation. With an abscess, immediate surgical intervention is indicated. This is the opening of the abscess and cleaning the site of the lesion. Then the doctor prescribes treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Abscess is one of the most common problems in oral surgery. Patients can be people of any age. Usually, an abscess is a consequence of a complicated dentoalveolar pathology, but it is also observed with mucosal damage or infectious diseases.

Untimely provision of medical care leads to the transition of the disease to a chronic form, to such undesirable consequences as phlegmon or sepsis. Self-medication in this case is strictly prohibited. To avoid serious complications, be sure to consult a doctor at the first sign of illness.

Typical causes

Oral abscesses are usually caused by complications of dental pathologies, such as periodontitis or untreated periodontal disease. In such cases, the periodontal junctions are destroyed and periodontal pockets appear. They serve as a localization for the rapid reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms that provoke inflammatory phenomena.

Also, the cause of the disease can be an accidental infection in the wound when the mucous membrane is damaged. This situation can occur during anesthesia with a syringe needle or as a result of an injury. Furuncles on the face, inflammatory diseases of the throat can provoke the progression of an abscess. It was noted that abscesses often developed with influenza or other similar diseases. This can be explained by the general weakening of human immunity.

As a rule, the cause of an oral abscess is an infectious lesion provoked by more than 3-5 microorganisms. Typical agents provoking the development of the disease are usually staphylococci, streptococci and gram-negative anaerobic flora (Eikenellacorrodens, Porphyromonasgingivalis, Enterobacteriaceae spp. , etc.).

Types of abscess depending on the location

According to localization, the following types of abscesses of the oral cavity are distinguished:

Abscess of the gums, its localization – a place next to a certain tooth. This option is the most common and typical. If there is no appropriate treatment, it can develop into extensive inflammation or into the chronic stage. At the same time, episodic relapses, pus discharge, bad breath, general intoxication are observed.

Abscess of the floor of the mouth located in the area under the tongue. This type of disease is characterized by intense pain during communication and while eating. If the abscess breaks by itself, a possible ingress of pus can provoke the appearance of new foci of inflammation.

A palatal abscess is usually caused by periodontitis in the maxillary teeth. It is dangerous because the infection can go to the nearby tissues of the palate and peritonsillar zone, progression of osteomyelitis of the palatine plate is possible.

Cheek abscess varies in depth. In accordance with this, it is localized either inside from the mucosal side, or on the outer surface of the cheek. This type of abscess is extremely dangerous. The reason for this is the likelihood of its spread to the nearest tissues of the face.

Tongue abscess characterized by swelling of the tongue, difficulty eating and speaking. It happens that it is difficult for the patient to breathe. Such an abscess is very dangerous. At the first sign of the disease, immediate hospitalization is required.

Symptoms of the disease

An abscess of the oral cavity usually develops in a short time. First, there are minor pain manifestations, similar in nature to the signs of periodontitis. In this case, the pain is concentrated in the area of ​​​​a particular tooth and is felt more strongly when biting. Then a very painful, compacted swelling appears in the area of ​​​​inflammation. Visually, it looks like a rounded bulge on the surface of the gums. Sometimes such a seal can be the size of an average plum.

Abscess of the tongue progresses rapidly. Increasing pain in the tissues of the tongue. There is swelling of the tongue: its size increases, it is difficult for the patient to speak and eat. The disease is dangerous because in especially severe cases, suffocation is possible. Often, inflammation is localized under the mucous membrane of the soft tissues of the oral cavity or under the surface of the skin. In this case, visually during an external examination, redness and swelling in the inflammation zone are visible.

Any oral abscess causes a deterioration in the general condition of the patient. At the same time, body temperature rises, difficulties with falling asleep appear, appetite worsens. The increase in inflammation can lead to spontaneous opening of the abscess. The outflow of pus relieves the patient’s condition. The patient’s pain sensations decrease, the tumor subsides, the temperature and well-being normalize. But in this case, you can not calm down, as the risk of complications is high.

Possible complications

It happens that the inflammatory process does not stop, but continues and passes into the chronic stage. Inflammation can affect nearby tissues. An abscess of the oral cavity is fraught with many serious complications. For example, it can lead to the loss of one or more teeth, to the development of phlegmon and sepsis. To exclude the occurrence of undesirable consequences, you should immediately consult a doctor to prescribe appropriate therapy.


Oral abscess is diagnosed by visual examination of the patient. The doctor, based on an assessment of the condition of the mucous membrane, makes a diagnosis. It is strictly forbidden to wait for a spontaneous breakthrough of the abscess. You should not self-medicate and take antibacterial drugs on your own. To relieve pain, you can take an anesthetic tablet before going to a medical facility. A warm solution of antiseptics can be used to rinse the mouth.

Surgery is mandatory as a treatment. To eliminate the focus of inflammation, the doctor opens the abscess. In order to prevent the infection from spreading, the surgeon puts a drainage tube and treats the wound with an antiseptic. As a rule, there is no need to suture after such an operation: the incision is usually small.

When the pus is removed, the patient feels better. The pain subsides, the swelling begins to subside, the face takes on its usual normal appearance. However, if the abscess of the oral cavity has gone too far, the recovery process can be lengthy.

After the operation, the patient is prescribed antibiotics. You should also take antihistamines and immunostimulants, vitamins, minerals. Sometimes physiotherapeutic procedures are also prescribed. Among them, fluctuorization or UHF. After surgery, you should not eat solid food for some time. Also, the patient is advised to eat right.

Prognosis and preventive measures

Oral abscess treatment usually ends well. To do this, the patient should immediately consult a doctor when the first symptoms of the disease appear. The general condition of the patient is also important. It is critical to start treatment as soon as possible. This will significantly increase the chances of a successful solution to the problem. In the case of timely surgical intervention and the absence of complications, the abscess of the oral cavity is cured within 1-2 weeks.

To avoid the risk of oral abscess, good hygiene is required. It is necessary to try to prevent injuries of the oral mucosa, in the presence of periodontal disease, consult a doctor in time.


  • Facial skin abscess. Facial phlegmon. Phlegmon and abscess of the oral cavity. Clinical guidelines / Association of specialists in the field of maxillofacial surgery. – 2016
  • Analysis of the treatment of patients with abscesses and phlegmon of the maxillofacial region 2016 / O. Yu. Kalinina, S. N. Gaiko, G. U. Usanova
  • Bulletin of the Clinical Hospital No. 51 2016 – p.51-54

Purulent tooth abscess: symptoms and treatment

What is it?
A tooth abscess is a collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection on the inside of a tooth.

A tooth abscess usually results from a cavity left untreated, or from a crack or chip in the tooth that allows bacteria to enter the tooth.

Treatment of a tooth abscess includes draining the abscess and cleaning the affected area of ​​infection. The tooth itself can be saved by root canal cleaning, but in some cases it may need to be extracted. Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead to serious, even life-threatening consequences.

Tooth abscess prevention requires proper dental care, a healthy diet and regular dental visits.

Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include:

Severe, persistent throbbing toothache pressure when chewing or biting


Swelling (edema) of the face or cheek

Tender, swollen lymph nodes under the lower jaw or in the neck

Sudden breakthrough of foul-tasting fluid in the mouth and pain relief after an abscess ruptures

When to see a doctor
See a dentist right away if any signs or symptoms of a tooth abscess are found. If you experience fever and facial swelling and a dentist is unavailable, go to an emergency room. Fever and swelling of the face may indicate that the infection has spread deep into the jaw and surrounding tissue, or even to other areas of the body.

A tooth abscess occurs when bacteria invade the dental pulp, the soft inner part of the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

Bacteria enters a cavity or a chip or crack in a tooth and spreads to the root. The bacterial infection causes inflammation and swelling. The limited space in which inflammation occurs causes pus to be squeezed out into a cavity (also called an abscess pocket) at the apex of the root.

Risk factors
The following factors increase the risk of tooth abscess:

· Poor dental hygiene. Improper care of teeth and gums, such as not flossing and brushing twice a day, can increase the risk of caries, periodontitis, abscesses and other dental and oral diseases and their complications.

High sugar diet. Frequent consumption of foods high in sugar, such as pastries and sweets, contributes to the formation of cavities and, in turn, tooth abscess.

· Associated health problems. Having a medical condition that weakens your immune system, such as diabetes or an autoimmune disease, can increase your risk of tooth infection and tooth abscess.

Tooth abscess does not go away without treatment. In the case of self-opening of the abscess, a significant reduction in pain is possible, but the need for dental treatment does not disappear. If the abscess is not drained, the infection can spread to the tissues of the mandible and other parts of the head and neck. It can even lead to sepsis, a common, life-threatening infection.

A tooth abscess left untreated with a weakened immune system carries an increased risk of spreading infection compared to a normally functioning immune system.

Examination and diagnosis
In addition to examining the tooth and its surroundings, the dentist may perform one or more of the following examinations:

· Tapping on the affected tooth. A root abscessed tooth is usually sensitive to touch or pressure.

X-ray. An x-ray of a diseased tooth can help identify an abscess. An x-ray or other imaging procedures, such as a CT scan, can also be used to determine if the infection has spread to develop abscesses at other sites.

Laboratory tests. In some cases, knowledge of the bacteria that causes the infection can be helpful in targeted treatment, especially if first-line antibiotics have failed.

Treatment and drugs
The goal of treatment is to drain the abscess and clear the infection. To achieve this, the dentist can:

· Perform depulpation. This procedure may help clear the infection and save the tooth. To do this, the dentist drills into the tooth, removes the affected central tissue (pulp), and drains the abscess. The pulp chamber and root canals of the tooth are filled and sealed. The dentist can then place a crown on the tooth. With proper care, a restored tooth can last a lifetime.

· Remove affected tooth. If the affected tooth cannot be saved, the dentist will remove the tooth and drain the abscess to clear the infection.

Prescribe antibiotics. If the infection is limited to the site of the abscess, antibiotics may not be needed. However, if the infection spreads to nearby teeth, the lower jaw, or other areas, the dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to stop the infection from spreading. Antibiotics may also be recommended for a weakened immune system.

Lifestyle and home remedies
While the lesion is healing, your dentist may recommend the following steps to relieve discomfort:

Gargling with warm salt water

Taking over-the-counter pain relievers as needed

9 0002 Prophylaxis
To prevent tooth abscess, it is necessary to exclude the development of caries.