What causes pain in the lymph nodes & jaw?

Written by krista sheehan
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What causes pain in the lymph nodes & jaw?
Skeleton jaw (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Steve Snodgrass)

If you are experiencing pain in the lymph nodes and jaw, it is important to consider any other symptoms you may be experiencing to determine the cause of the pain. Unfortunately, a variety of conditions may cause a painful jaw and lymph nodes.

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The symptoms of TMJ include pain in the jaw and around the ear, along with difficulty chewing. Serious cases of TMJ may also cause a clicking sound when the jaw is opened or closed, along with painful lymph nodes in the jaw area.

Dry Socket

Dry socket occasionally occurs after a tooth extraction in which bones and nerves become exposed. The condition is characterised by intense pain in the mouth and jaw, along with swollen lymph nodes around the neck.


Sinusitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses. It is characterised by a headache and pressure in the eye, nose, cheek and jaw area. However, if left untreated, the lymph nodes may also become swollen and painful.


Mononucleosis, or "mono," is a viral infection that often affects children and young adults. The infection is characterised by swollen lymph nodes, high fever, intense pain in the throat and jaw, weakness and fatigue.


To ease the pain, avoid significant movements of the jaw, such as excessive talking and chewing. Consume soft foods that do not require much jaw movement. Massaging the jaw and applying a warm compress to the painful lymph nodes may ease the pain and tenderness.

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