Painful Lump On Jawline: Is It Something Serious?

Can a lump on jawline be caused by a serious underlying condition? Let’s find out!

Woman feeling lymph nodes under jawline

When individuals notice a lump on their jawline, they might think that it is automatically a serious health condition. Fortunately, these lumps on the jawline or under the chin do not pose any serious health risks. These lumps may be a swollen area, mass, or a bump that can occur on the jawline, under the chin, or even on portions of the neck. There are instances where multiple lumps may form. In most cases, these kinds of lumps are the result of lymph nodes that are swollen, and this swelling is commonly caused by infection. 

Other medical issues, benign tumors, abscesses, cysts, and cancers can also be some of the factors that can lead to lumps in the chin. However, lumps caused by the said factors are often rare and far in between. A chin that appears on the jawline may present itself as an abscess or as a cyst and it can either feel hard or soft to the touch. Some of these lumps can be tender when touched and can even be painful. Other lumps, though, won’t cause any significant pain to the patient. If these lumps are not painful then the individual may not notice that these lumps are present on the jawline for a long time. 

Jawline Lump: Possible Causes

Some of the possible causes of a lump on the jawline or under the chin are listed below:


Both viral infections and bacterial infections can lead to the formation of lumps on the jawline or under the chin and in most cases, these kinds of lumps are due to lymph nodes that are swollen. The lymph nodes form part of the immune system network that can aid in the protection of the body from various diseases. Most of these lymph nodes are located in the neck and the head including the chin and under the jaw.

Lymph nodes are flexible and small they can be bean-shaped or round. It is common for lymph nodes to swell especially those located in the neck and head. Once they do, it can be a sign of an illness that is underlying. Swollen lymph nodes can swell to various sizes such as being as large as olive or as small as a pea. They can also feel painful or tender when touched. It can also hurt when the individual turns his or her head in towards one direction or when the individuals start chewing. 

Some infections which can lead to swollen lymph nodes such as infections of the skin (cellulitis), mononucleosis (mono), a tooth that is infected (abscess), strep throat, infections of the sinus, infections of the ear, measles, and infections of the upper respiratory tract such as flu and colds. Other medical conditions can lead to swollen lymph nodes which can lead to the development of a lump on the jawline. Some of these medical conditions include tuberculosis and HIV and it can also include disorders of the immune system such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Those with swollen lymph nodes that resulted in lumps on the jawline may also experience other forms of symptoms such as fatigue, fever, chills, night sweats, runny nose, sore throat, cough, or other infections of the upper respiratory tract, and lymph nodes that are swollen under the arms and the groin. These lumps caused by swollen lymph nodes will commonly resolve on their own and ensuring that the underlying condition is treated will also help make the lump and the swelling lymph node go away.


Lumps on the jawline can also be caused by certain cancers. While cancers will commonly affect older adults, the said condition can happen regardless of age. There are different ways for cancer to initiate the formation of lumps. For example, a lump on the jawline can occur due to the following scenarios: 

  • Sarcoma appears on the jawline
  • Skin cancer that is nonmelanoma appears on the jawline
  • The lymphatic system is affected by cancer (lymphoma)
  • Cancer that has metastasized or those that came from other organs and gets into the lymph nodes. 
  • Nearby organs affected by cancer such as the salivary gland, thyroid, throat, and mouth. 

Other forms of cancer can also lead to swollen lymph nodes which can include Hodgkin’s disease and leukemia. Cancerous lumps are commonly hard to the touch and are not painful or tender. Some of the other symptoms caused by cancer-related lumps include recurring infections, changes to one’s voice, unexplained weight loss, a nagging cough, changes in mouth sore, mole or wart color, shape, and size, bleeding or discharge that is unexplained, indigestion, difficulty swallowing, the appearance of lumps in other parts of the body, changes to the activity or frequency of the bladder or the bowel, and sores that don’t get well. 

Benign Tumors and Cysts

Some of these lumps are non-cancerous, and these include benign tumors (noncancerous) and cysts (fluid-filled sacs). Tumors that are considered benign develop when the cells are divided at an abnormal rate. Compared to cancerous tumors, they do not cause harm to nearby tissues and spread to the body’s other organs. Some of the cysts that can cause a jawline lump include lipomas, fibromas, and epidermoid cysts. The cysts can either be firm or soft. These lumps are usually painless, but they can lead to discomfort if they grow in size and apply pressure on tissues or organs nearby. Most of these tumors and cysts won’t show any symptoms that are related. However, there is a possibility that they can get infected, inflamed, or irritated if the formation is too close to the skin.

Other possible causes of lump on the jawline, include certain medications, a jaw that is fractured, bones that are broken, insect bites and stings, hematoma, injury, goiters, food allergies, acne, and salivary duct stones. 

In all of these different cases, the treatment and the symptoms will depend largely on what is causing the lump on the jawline in the first place.

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