Medical Q: what the hell is going on in my throat?

Not seeking medical advice, just information. You are not my doctor. I’m going to see my doctor later today.

Saturday night I started to feel a tightness under the left side of my jaw. It was pretty mild and I figured it was a strained vocal chord - Id had a show the night before and was unusually hoarse after the show, mostly due to pushing too hard. ( the house engineer was kind of useless and we all had to fight our monitors all night long)

anyway, woke up Sunday and kind of forgot all about it, until Thanksiving dinner at my inlaws later that day. I was eating and something (lymph node?) started to swell enormously. But only on one side…I was sweating and the swelling seemed to grow throughout the meal. It was pretty darn painful too.

After the meal, it slowly subsided, and while still tender, the swelling reduced considerably. Until 30 minutes later, when, at dessert the same thing happened.

Came home, took 800 mg ibuprofen and took it easy the rest of the night, and there was no further issue until this morning. Again, I ate and this thing swelled up again, became significantly more tender until subsiding again ten minutes or so after eating?
Is this a localized infection and the pursuant swelling of a lymph node? An infected salivary gland? Something worse?

It’s driving me nuts, and eating has become quite the chore.

Thanks for your feedback!

Impossible to say without seeing and examining you, but by your description I’d suspect a plugged salivary duct. From debris, viral infection, or whatever.

I advise my patients with plugged ducts to push fluids, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and suck lemons or lemon drops to induce salivary flow.

It appears you are correct as usual, Qadgop. On
a hunch I chewed some gum until Lumpy got real big, and applied some pressure. Shot about 1/2 tsp of saliva about 8 feet across the room. Kinda neat, in a really gross way.

Follow up q: if it was a physical obstruction, things should quiet down, I assume. If it’s an infection, can I expect a recurrence of this oh-so-gross phenomenon? Should I stay the course or still plan on going to Urgent Care later?


I don’t think anyone here can advise you to not see the doctor…That would qualify as actual medical advice.

A friend had sialoliths (stones in his saliva). This required surgery, but he has been fine as far as I know, since.

I tell my patients with this acute problem that if it doesn’t clear up in 5-7 days, or if it is associated with significant pain/increasing swelling/fever then they should get further evaluation.

Most times it is not caused by bacterial infection or tumor.