What causes lymph nodes to swell?

Sink traps. Lymph nodes are sink traps for our bodies. If you have infection or inflammation somewhere, your friendly hardworking lymph nodes will catch bits, work on it, & swell. They may feel tender. They may not hurt at all. Example: common cold & swollen neck lymph nodes. See your doc if you're concerned, if there's not an obvious neighborhood reason why your nodes are swollen, if it's more than 3-4 weeks.
Swollen nodes. Nodes can swell because of infection or inflammation (some people refer to lymph nodes and tonsils as "glands") or because of local obstruction of their drainage (as in the salivary glands). So the best answer would depend on to which glands or nodes you are referring.

Related Questions

What causes lymph nodes to swell in the lung?

Monitoring Centers. Lymphatic system absorbs/carries things too big to go into the arteries/veins like bacteria eaten by white cells and digested food. Lymph nodes "taste" the lymph for anything bad like bacteria/viruses/cancers, etc. When it detects a problem, it alerts the immune system and your body reacts. They enlarge in response to the inflammation they create when they react. They shrink when all is well. Read more...

What would cause lymph nodes to swell on back of head. Under 1.5 CM but on both sides. Swell up and down.?

Lymph node swelling. Lymph nodes are part of your body's natural defense against both infections and foreign objects. Around the neck and head is the most common place for them to enlarge since they help to fight colds, ear infections, sinus infections, scalp infections, and dental. Enlarged lymph nodes in the back of your head usually come from scalp infections, ear infections (sometimes just from ear rings). Read more...
Many possibilities. Generally lymph nodes enlarge when they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is responding to inflammation and helping to protect you. If they are small, mobile, soft, non-tender and stay the same size they are very probably quite benign and need no further attention. Read more...

What cause your lymph nodes to swell under your jaw?

Very important. The commonest cause of lymph nodes enlargement under the jaw is infection in the tooth, gum or other structures in that area. However after 50 years of age one has to consider the possibility of malignant disease like lymphoma or other tumors. Therefore careful exam and follow up is recommended for any lymph node enlargement to make sure that it resolves adequately. Read more...

What causes a breast lymph node to swell?

Monitoring Centers. The lymphatic system absorbs and carries things too big to go into the arteries and veins like bacteria eaten by white cells and digested food. A lymph node "tastes" the lymph to see if anything bad is there like bacteria, viruses, cancers, etc. When it detects a problem, it alerts the immune system and enlarges in response to the inflammation they create when they react. You can feel them then. Read more...

What can cause esophageal lymph node to swell?

Monitoring Centers. Lymphatic system absorbs/carries things too big to go into the arteries/veins like bacteria eaten by white cells and digested food. Lymph nodes "taste" the lymph for anything bad like bacteria/viruses/cancers, etc. When it detects a problem, it alerts the immune system and your body reacts. They enlarge in response to the inflammation they create when they react. They shrink when all is well. Read more...