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What are some causes of small lumps under the chin?

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Quick Answer

The main cause of small lumps under the chin is swollen lymph nodes, according to HealthTap. The nodes may be enlarged because of problems in the immediate area, such as with the teeth or ears.

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Full Answer

Lymph nodes generally grow larger when they become infected. The condition of having one or several infected nodes is called lymphadenitis, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. Lymphadenitis usually begins with an infection that has started elsewhere in the body. Fungi, viruses or bacteria cause infections that spread to lymph nodes. Learning how the lymph nodes became infected is important for choosing the correct treatment.

While there are two types of lymphadenitis, localized and generalized, the former is more prevalent, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine. This means that only one or a few nodes are affected and that they are in close proximity to the source of infection. In addition to being enlarged, infected lymph nodes may be painful when touched, contain pus or may be soft. They may also be the cause of symptoms connected to the original infection, such as a sore throat, in the case of nodes under the chin, says Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Lymph nodes may retain their enlarged state permanently after infection, states Doctors Lounge. It is important for a physician to examine nodes that grow continually, are tender or have characteristics suggestive of malignancy.

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