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A 25-year-old female asked:

I have excrutiating pain in my jaw in front of my ear and have swollen glands behind my ear and neck. the pain seems worse after eating. could this be a parotid salivary gland blockage or cyst? i don't have a fever or any other symptoms and haven't had a

5 doctor answers21 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
See a doctor: This is not a problem which can be approached on the internet. You will have to be seen and examined, and perhaps tested for allergies..
Dr. John Chastain
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 19 years experience
Sialadenitis: The history is indeed suspicious for parotid infection (parotitis) and/or stone in the parotid duct, but it is not clear exactly what is going on. Other possibilities include neck abscess or lymphadenitis. All of these are pretty high acuity problems that warrant prescription medication treatment. I would consider ENT evaluation, or see your primary. If it's bad, er evaluation is appropriate.
Dr. Hallie Robbins
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 31 years experience
TMJ Disorder: Your pain is located in front of each ear at your temporomandibular joint. Tmj disorders can account for your symptoms of post-chewing pain, noninfectious inflammation, neck pain, headache, fatigue, & other symptoms. Do you grind teeth or clench jaw? It's not uncommon for many other conditions to be considered first, but "when hearing hoof beats-- think horses not zebras!" see your dentist, too.
Dr. David Astrachan
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 37 years experience
Possibly jaw joint: It also could possibly be inflammation or irritation of your jaw joint which can lead to radiating pain in precisely those areas that you describe. It is possible that your salivary gland may be infected but not causing systemic symptoms yet. It is also possible that you may have a dental infection. I would suggest starting with your primary care doctor and then if necessary an ENT consultation.
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Blockage: While infections, tumors and other scary things can involve your parotid gland, it is highly likely that it is a blockage, why? Because it always comes on when food is involved! of course, have a full consultation to rule out all other reasons. Good luck.

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Last updated Jan 22, 2021

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