Jaw Swells Up When Eating - My Solution

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  Main Question - Posted From Guest:
I thought this info may help others, so I will tell you what worked for me. My jaw was swelling up when eating, the area right behind the jaw and in front of the ear and under the ear was swelling up everytime I ate food or drinks. It was only happening on one side of my face, not both sides. This started roughly 1 week ago, I thought it was a lymph node on the neck behind my jaw but then realized this was only happening when I ate food, and in the morning the swelling was all the way down. This is a salivory gland called the parotid gland, and obviously it was swelling because the saliva had no way out, after going to see an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor, which by the way if you have this and need to go to a doctor, then an ear nose and throat doctor is who you want to go to, they are specialists so don't just go to a regular clinic). Anyways I went to an ENT after 1 week and he looked up in my mouth with a little mirror, then lightly rubbed the gland towards him in front of my ear. What he was looking for was to see if any fluid came out, and it did. He also told me it was clear, so he knew the parotid gland wasn't infected. He didn't think a stone was blocking the parotid gland duct, because he saw fluid come out. These are all things he told me. Anyways he also felt both sides of the jaw and under the ear, to see if he could feel anything "growing" in there, which he said doesn't seem to be an issue. So his guess was that I just wasn't taking in enough fluids, and that the saliva mucous was probably thickened and blocking the paratid gland ducts and not flowing freely as it should. He told me to spend the next week using a heat pad on the gland (to heat up and loosen the saliva) and to drink ALOT of water. He said 8 glasses a day or more, and that I should be going to the bathroom constantly throughout the day to really keep it flushed out and well hydrated in the parotid gland. He said if that didn't work I should come back for a CT scan so they can see if there is anything up in there blocking it like maybe a stone further up, etc. I figured for sure this wouldn't work, but I drank cups of water constantly for the next 6 days, and it was still swelling when I ate, everytime is swelled I put heat compress on it and tried to lightly milk it forward with the heat (as if trying to push it out, but that really didnt' seem to do much). When I got home from work I drank a HUGE glass of water each day, which was probably 3 huge glasses worth, so I just wanted to make sure I was very well hydrated. On the 7th day I ate food and the ear and jaw didn't swell up! I was shocked! Something eventually did free or just rehydrated. I was actually going to call him that day and schedule the scan, I figured for sure it wasn't working. The bottom line here is that this probably also shows the importance of drinking plenty of water, I will make sure to continue drinking some water going forward. Hopefully this info helps others who may have the same issue. He did say also that sometimes a tiny stone can flush out also if it is being blocked up in the duct, as getting well hydrated and eating food creates alot of pressure in the parotid gland and can force stuff out of that duct.

Guest Says:
A couple other things I forgot. Make sure if your jaw is swelling that it is ALSO going down! He told me to make sure its going down when done eating (mine stayed swollen a good 15-20 minutes and gradually went down during that time when done eating in case you are wondering). It was also tender throughout the day, and thats caused from the swelling that occurred everytime I ate some food. If you have this I certainly recommend going to a ear nose and throat doctor, they are also called Otolaryngology doctors. So if you are having trouble finding a doctor under ENT then look for Otolaryngology doctors which are the same thing. It's important to have them check it out as they can remove a tiny stone in the duct if necessary, and its important to make sure you don't have an infection in your gland.

Guest Says:
You have to flush it out good, drinking alot of water for days in a row is a good solution to help here.

Guest Says:
It sounds wierd but people dont drink enough water, and that can actually cause this.  Drink a good 7 or 8 glasses a day to rehydrate for a full week, it can take this long but the mucus in the gland will get soft and flush, and even help flush the gland if it is a stone

Dan Says:
A good heat pad is those plastic like things with gel inside.  They can be thrown in the freezer or microwave and reused, very good to have around the house as you can reuse them!  It helped me when my jaw swelled just like this, microwave for 30 seconds and hold it on the swelling for 3-5 minutes and massage with it as if you are flushing it down lightly.  Don't press hard as its already tender!  The heat helps, but make sure its draining as stated and not staying swollen for long time.

Dan Says:
Also helping to flush it by eating sour candy or spicy food really helps, whatever it takes to build the pressure with saliva! Sour candy works real well, either the lemon drop candy or sweet tarts really gets it flowing.

Guest Says:
Here is a follow up, as I posted the original article.

This has never come back after that episode listed at the top, once it was flushed it has never had any type of swelling ever again and its been a long time now.  The one thing I always do now is a couple days out of the week I now make sure I drink several big glasses of water when I get home at night just to make sure I rehydrate (although dont do it right before bed or you will be up 5 times in the night to go to the bathroom :)
Anytime I feel thirsty I make sure to drink plenty also just to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Sher Says:
Wow. This sounds exactly like what I have. Negative ct scan and negative blood tests. Had gland surgery 30 years ago for Same symptoms and thought that fixed the problem. I will try the water and continue with doctors for now.

Venithai Says:
Thank you so much.i also had this problem.i follow as you did and it's work.

Genie Says:
This just happened to me yesterday, first time ever. I ran to my husband and told him,  oh no, not something else! (. You see, I already had a brain tumor, operated, and last year I also had breast cancer!  , done with tx and surgeries)  so I thought,  now what?  My left jaw, just where you said began to swell up like a tennis ball, no pain,  I refused to go to the hospital or see 8another dr, so I put ice compresses and looked in the Internet.  I saw your answer and Viola,  I'm just starting to try it out,  I already drank several glasses of water and putting warm compresses as you said,  the swelling has gone down considerably however, it is still swollen,  I hope it works for me too, if it doesn't, in a week, I'll see a dr.  Thank you so much !!!!

candice r. Says:
Oh my gosh first let me say thanks God for you, this is day two, I was eating and felt a strain so I touch my face and freaked out my left jaw was huge, ran the the er, and the dr. Told me since he had never seen me before he didn't know if my face was swollen. So went to the dentist and they couldn't find anything wrong but seen that it was swollen so they gave me motrin will antibiotics,  this morning it was so much better then after I ate huge all over again. So after eating and seeing your post I took a very hot shower and yes Lord it went back down. Now I thought I drink alot of water as is but I will continue to drink more and still make an appointment with the ent asap... thank you so much.. so scary and stressed out.. now I can relax you are a life saver. Many many blessing to you. Thanks God bless you.

judi Says:
Thanks so much for posting this.  This just happened to me during lunch.  I'm happy to have a head'd up.

Guest Says:
I have been having this problem for about a year on and off! I'm going to try what you suggested! Thank you!

Guest Says:
It's amazing how common jaw swelling like this is, it sounds like the ENT doctor see's this happen fairly often. One thing I always do now is like you said, I fill up a 32 ounce mug with water when I get home and I dont drink it all at once but I make sure it's gone by 8 oclock (drinking it to late beyond that means getting up when I'm sleeping), that makes sure I'm taking in water because people are in the habit of drinking coffee in morning, soda for lunch, and sometimes coffee in afternoon, so that 30 ounces makes sure I'm getting a decent amount of water daily to keep hydrated.

I have also scaled back on caffeine because everyone drinks it morning, lunch, and afternoon. So now if I drink soda I always try to drink caffeine free, and my coffee in the morning I now make weaker and have scaled back over time. It's just good to lower that but still being able to enjoy my coffee. I now never drink it after lunch which I used to always do in the past. Staying hydrated is important because caffeine dehydrates you also.  Hopefully I never have another jaw swelling issue again ever, mine was about 1 inch from the ear where it was swelling, forward and towards the jaw.

It's very easy to panic and panic just makes you worry about it more, so don't overthink it because it's actually very common and ent doctor would tell you that also.

Guestsally Says:
I've had this happen 2 me twice and I panicked but just tried heat pad and the swelling went down its still painful 2 touch but will keep up with the heat pads and water thank you all for putting this information on

Virginia n Says:
Since being diagnosed with non  Hodgkin's lymphoma my first thought that it was that. But after seeing this website I realized that it was probably not related I have all the symptoms in the above replies except the swelling does go down about an hour later.  I will difinetly  be doing a lot of after drinking in the future thanks for the Intel

Guest Says:
I had the same problem for awhile. I read on another site what it could be. As I ate dinner one night it started to swell up. I rubbed the bottom of my jaw for a few minutes. I then pushed up a little on my jaw and felt liquid rush out. I could taste a bitter taste in my mouth. So I got up and started rinsing my mouth out. I pushed a little higher each time. Kept getting the fluid out. Rinsing each and every time. Until the swelling was completely gone. I started doing this just before eating and right after eating. It doesn't get swollen anymore. I have always been a big water drinker. So I don't know why or how I could have gotten dehydrated.

Guest Says:
To the previous poster, your jaw swelling could have been a stone (or multiple in there), and rubbing the gland there may have flushed it out.  So it may not always be just dehydrated, yours sounds a little different.  I think the key is also dont press that jaw gland hard and make it more sore, just enough to help massage it loose whether its just dry or stone, etc.

Guest Says:
Hi did it also hurt a bit by the swelling when chewing. Thanks.

Dan Says:
To the previous poster, yes it will hurt when chewing once it swells because that jaw area gets very tender and sore, so the chewing and pressing on it will hurt. When I had this I ate very fast so I would be done quickly so I didnt have to eat while it was swollen.  Pressing on it lightly with the heating pad will also make it tender and sore, so you cant press to hard on it, just lightly massage it forward, at least that's what the doctor had me do.

guest 2 Says:
man,  had the same thing happen to me last night.  was eating dinner and my jaw got tight,  went in and looked in the mirror and freaked out.  could see it swelling up as big as a softball.  totally flipped out and went to the emergency room and it was packed.  thought I had been bitten by a spider or having an allergic reaction to something.  while I was waiting in the emergency room to bee seen,  the swelling went down to normal so I left.  got home and ate something and it happened again!! holy crap!!  woke up this morning and back to normal.  weird!!   glad to know its not something serious.  thanks for your post.  I feel much better now.  ate breakfast and no swelling.  hope it stays that way

Linda Says:
I've had this on and off for a few yrs. I went to ENT...it wasn't swollen at the time.Dr told me I'd have to come back when it's swollen...well since it swells randomly..never know ahead time....my daughter has the same thing. This response of what you think it is,makes since..i drink fluids all day everyday and I use heating pad.....its just weird......

Guest Says:
The exact same thing just happened to me a few days ago.  Went to the clinic, the clinic sent me to the hospital for blood work and a CT scan. Everything turned up normal except my right side keeps swelling up.  I read your post and really appreciate everyone sharing their stories.  I currently am sitting here with a heating pad, drank a few large glasses of water and took Motrin. I am hoping this will help. If not I am going to see an ENT in a couple of days but I would like to thank everyone for sharing their stories.  

Guest Says:
So, it's the next day after I tried the heating pad, motrin, and water.  Still had a lump and swelling.  I sucked on sweet-tarts for an hour this morning...it worked!  I am not kidding you!  It actually worked!  I started drinking a lot of water to help flush whatever it was out. Thank you again to everyone for your help and posting what happened to you.  I really appreciate it!

Guest Says:
Awesome to hear this worked for you also. Now that its finally cleared make a note to keep well hydrated at least a couple days a week! :-)  

Guest Says:
Thank you I think for everyone that has read this. My husband has had this happen a few times. I felt it had something to do with saliva gland but had no idea. I didn't know that coffee dehydrated a person. Now have him drinking water and heating pad. It's gone down but not to normal. Going to try the sweet tarts or something sour. Hope he has the same results as everyone else. Again, thank you!!

ME Says:
I have the same thing started in January of this year. I went to the dentist thinking I had a absessed tooth. Nothing showed up in the xray. It doesn't heppen all day or every day. I could be chewing gum and it will swell up but It goes right back down. Also under my tongue on the same side hurts like hell when the gland swells up. ALL I drink is water all day.I don't know if this is related but the duct in my eye on the same side itches so bad when i'm having issues with the gland swelling. Thank you everyone for your stories it helps to know it isn't serious

Sharlene Says:
I've been having swelling in my jaw on both sides almost every time I eat for around 6 months now.  It doesn't hurt, it's just uncomfortable & I have to stop eating for a bit for it to go down.
I have been to a ENT (he gave me a nasal spray & tested me for Sjogrens Syndrome, I see him again in June).  He also thought it could be a stone in my parotid glands, but thought it was odd that it was happening in both sides
I've also went to a TMJ (where ur jaw attaches to ur skull) & sleep specialist.  He wants me to get special appliances (kind of like a mouth guard, but not completely, it will help realign my jaw bone.  He also wants me to go to a sleep clinic to rule out any sleep issues.  He recommended using Breath Right strips, as I apparently snore really bad (hubby never said anything until we were at Drs)

I'm just getting so tired of the swelling.  I'm just getting over a sinus infection, so that isn't helping things either.

It's nice to read that other people have had similar problems.  I am going to try to drink a lot more water & try the sour candies too.

Ken Says:
Thanks for the post. This has been quite painful for me. while going through this I was told it was an allergic reaction. After reading this, I found the clogged duct inside my left cheek and was able to work it out with a lot of rinsing. WHEW! that hurt like the dickens when I ate. Got it out last night. no more pain, no more swelling. Thanks again for posting this information!

Liz Says:
Hi,I have the same, a swelling comes up every
time I eat. But I am worried because is has become
very painful and I can hardly bring myself
to eat anything at all. Do you think it could be infected ?

Guest Says:
Liz, the only way to know if its infected is to see an ENT doctor so he can look at it. No one on a messageboard can answer that.  I would go just to put your mind at ease.

Guest Says:
Thank you! We will see the ent tomorrow. Boyfriend is sleeping peacefully because of the initial post I read to him. Bravo!! L

Guest Jan Says:
I have this same exact problem I eat the gland underneath swells up like a good ball and hurts right into my right ear omg so painful!! My Dr says it's probably allergies and can't tell that anything is wrong. It has to be swollen at the time he sees it. I am very frustrated with it. All of a sudden came out of nowhere after a bacterial infection. It does go down so that's a good thing they say.Will try heat on it next.

Guest Says:
Jan, why not take some sweet tarts or lemon drops in then eat in front of the doctor and that will trigger the saliva build up so the doctor can see it?

I'm not sure a normal doctor can help much with that, the ENT DR is what you really need to go to because they specialize in this stuff.

Guest Donna Says:
T onk you so much for providing a forum for this!  I've had this problem off and on over the years.Followed the advice to message area and the swelling went down right away!Will drink plenty of fluids too.Years ago, out of the clear blue my neck swelled up - I had a golf ball sized lump! Went to my doctor and he said I had a stone which formed under my gum.He told me if that ever happens again just sucK on a lemon! It works! Take care all!

Kevin Says:
Just got home started to eat and yes like a tennis ball on jaw thanks for advice as I don't drink water I have 4 Coffey a day with milk in so on water and off coffy now THANKS EVERYONE

Lyle Says:
Wow, and i thought i had a problem. So gud to hear more ppl have the same issue. Any thanks for all the advice and the medical explanation. I gonna try the water thing, but cant we try beer instead seeing that its made of 90% water. I feel a bit better now that i know whats wrong. Cheers

Guest Says:
Thank you for this information as I am currently suffering from this. I was scared and on my way to hospital but I looked it up and I do think that's exactly what is happening to one side of my face. I don't drink enough water although I do drink it. So I will drink more water and try the suggestions listed and if it works I will update you on my progress.

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