An internal lump in front of the ear is a common indicator of a swollen parotid salivary gland, which can be caused by several factors that include blocked salivary ducts, influenza and dehydration, according to Healthline. The parotid glands can also become swollen due to poor oral hygiene.
Swollen parotid salivary glands can also be caused by infections, salivary duct stones and cirrhosis of the liver, explains MedlinePlus. In rare instances, the parotid glands can become swollen due to tumor development in the salivary ducts. Additional symptoms of salivary gland tumors include swelling beneath the chin and difficult movement of the side of the face in which the tumor is located. Benign tumors are treatable with surgery, and malignant tumors are treatable with surgery and radiation.
The parotid salivary glands can also become swollen in individuals who are infected with mumps, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first sign of mumps is typically a swollen area in the front lower area of the ear. Within one to three days, fluid builds up beneath the skin and causes additional swelling in the face and neck. In approximately 25 percent of mumps cases, only one side of the face becomes swollen. Mumps is often mistaken for swollen glands in the neck; however, mumps infections are unique in the fact that the condition causes additional swelling of the parotid glands in front of the ears.