Many times a soft lump forms on the jawline that you can easily move with your fingers. This type of bump isn’t something to worry about and gets better on its own. However, a few causes of a movable lump on the jawbone may require medical help. Let’s explore the 9 possible causes of lump on the jawline.
1. Abscessed Tooth
Leaving a cavity untreated results in a severely abscessed tooth. When harmful bacteria make their way to the blood vessels and nerves present in the tooth’s inner chamber, infection develops in the canal system of the pulp. It can cause severe swelling, forming a movable lump on your jawbone. The beginning of swelling is sudden and very painful.
Immediately see your dentist for a tooth examination. A root canal is a common treatment for such conditions. In some cases, tooth removal becomes necessary. The dentist may also drain the pus and prescribe you antibiotics.
2. Swollen lymph node
Lymph glands are present underneath your neck skin, close to the jawline. These contain white blood cells. When your body fights an infection, lymph nodes become inflamed as your immune system works overtime to fight the infection.
You may notice a movable bump on one or both sides of your jawline. These lumps can appear soft but radiate pain if you touch them. Other symptoms of swollen lymph nodes include chills, fever, or a runny nose.
Allergic reactions or exposure to allergens can lead to inflammation in your lymph nodes and other facial parts. It can also include the areas near your jawline.
If you have seasonal allergy symptoms accompanied by a movable lump on your jaw, the cause can be allergies.
If you’re allergic to certain food or medication, you may find that your sinuses and glands close to the jawline swell. Jaw lumps due to allergies may feel sore or inflamed.
A lipoma is a harmless lump of fat deposit that forms under your skin. They commonly develop on your neck or jaw.
Lipomas develop over time and are benign. They appear as soft and colorless formations and often don’t radiate any pain. People 40 or above are more prone to developing lipomas. Those with Cowden syndrome are also at a higher risk.
Fibromas are soft tissue growth that develops anywhere in the body. Since these tumors are made of natural tissue of your body, they are not malignant.
Ossifying fibroma is a condition that is related to non-cancerous tumors containing tissue and bone. It forms in the front part of your jaw, where the teeth erupt.
Ossifying fibromas can result in severe swelling accompanied by a movable soft lump on one side of your jawbone.
A cyst is a pocket of tissue filled with fluid, air, and other material. Movable soft cysts may develop on your jawline. Usually, cysts don’t cause any additional symptoms, but sometimes they can become swollen and cause aches and discomfort.
Specific types of cancer develop as malignant tumors on the jawbone. Most of these tumors are hard and non-moveable. One type of cancer known as liposarcoma can cause lumps tha are soft and moveable.
Tumors that are malignant are not usually tender to the touch.
Other causes for a lump on the jawline could include:
- Jaw injury
When should I call a doctor?
A movable lump on the jawline most of the time is related to infection or allergies that don’t require medical aid.
However, several symptoms call for a consultation with a doctor, such as:
- Difficulty moving jaw
- Painful swallowing
- Painless and stiff lumps on the jaw
- High fever
- Persistent or worsening pain
How is a movable lump on my jaw diagnosed?
Your physician will carry out certain tests to diagnose the underlying cause of a jaw bump that doesn’t go away. Once it’s clear that swollen lymph nodes or allergies aren’t causing the lumps, the next step would be to carry out diagnostic tests.
A biopsy on the tumor may be needed. A doctor collects a tiny sample from a lump on your jawbone during the procedure and tests if cancerous cells are present.
A CT scan or MRI may be needed if it seems difficult to rule out cancer following the biopsy.
In some cases, the cause of a movable lump on the jawline is determined by a dental X-ray. This is especially true if the cause is somehow linked to an abscessed tooth or wisdom teeth. Your
the doctor may refer you to a dental expert.
How is a movable lump on my jawbone treated?
If the cause of your jaw lump is any sort of infection, antibiotics are the best course of treatment.
Allergic reactions linked to a lump on the jawbone indicate that you should take prescription allergy medication.
If the growth is benign, the treatment will depend on your preference. If the bump is interfering with your daily routine or looks ugly, you can consult a doctor for its removal.
Other times the lump can be left as it is, and it won’t affect your health.
Is surgery necessary for a movable lump on my jaw?
Sometimes surgery may be the only option to get rid of the lump on your jaw.
If a cyst or lipoma has formed, you may want to have them removed for aesthetic purposes. It all depends on you and your cosmetic needs.
If your doctor thinks that your lump may turn out to be cancerous or it may interfere with the functionality of your jaw, they may advise you to have the bump removed.
If your abscessed tooth is infected, oral surgery may be necessary to relieve your symptoms.
Laparoscopically is a procedure that removes a cyst that is causing pain and discomfort.
The commonest causes of movable lump on your jawbone will usually get better on their own. If you notice other symptoms or the lump is radiating pain and tenderness, talk to a doctor at the earliest.