There are many lymph nodes on the neck. One of them is the submental lymph node. When there is disease of the lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), and it is present only in one area, like the neck (cervical) area, it is categorized as localized lymphadenopathy. When there is another area that has infected lymph nodes, for example, the cervical lymph nodes and lymph nodes of the neck are diseased; it is categorized as generalized lymphadenopathy.

The Workings

The submental lymph node is located just under the chin. Lymphatic drainage from the following will go through the submental lymph node:

  • Lower lip
  • Floor of mouth
  • Teeth
  • Submental salivary gland
  • Tip of the tongue
  • Skin of cheek

The lymph nodes are located throughout the body and filter lymph drainage fluid. They are small rounded or bean-shaped lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by connective tissue. Some may be more commonly noticed, like ones in the neck (cervical); there are over 500 lymph glands in the body. They are essential to the immune system functioning correctly because it is in the lymph nodes the important immune reactions begin. When the body is fighting illness and disease, they will become enlarged. It can happen with simple infections like a sore throat or a dangerous disease like cancer. For cancer, the involvement of lymph nodes determines the treatment plan.

The white blood cells location in the lymph nodes are also known as lymphocytes. These blood cells will fight infection. The lymph nodes filter out debris and infection. When they become overloaded, they may swell. Some of the swelling is from the increase in cells needed to fight off infection. The lymph nodes play an important role in fighting off the following:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Cancer
  • Any cause of illness

Whenever there are swollen lymph glands, a healthcare professional should be contacted when the lymph node is over 1 inch in size, appear suddenly (with no bump to the area), is hard, skin above lymph node is discolored, other symptoms of illness, or a “feeling” that they need to be checked. It is better to have a doctor tell you that everything is okay, than to wish you went sooner after an illness has become more severe. Only a healthcare professional can diagnose swollen lymph nodes.

Understand More About – Swollen Lymph Nodes

The following can cause the submental lymph nodes to become swollen:

  • Mononucleosis syndromes
    An infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, fatigue, weakness, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and night sweats.
  • Epstein-Barr virus
    One of the most common human virus. Symptoms include cold sores, fever, swollen lymph nodes, tiredness, and sore throat. Often leads to mononucleosis.
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
    Common virus usually acquired before two years old. Symptoms include sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, weakness, muscle aches, and loss of appetite. Severe symptoms can be acute.
  • Toxoplasmosis
    An infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Symptoms include headache, swollen lymph glands, mild fever, muscle pain, and sore throat.
  • Dental pathology
    periodontitis and other dental problems can cause swollen lymph nodes.

Many enlarged lymph nodes will return to normal shortly after the illness or infection is gone.