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"lump" at jaw hinge/joint
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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"lump" at jaw hinge/joint

I do not have a hx of tmj.  I was washing my face about four days ago.  I noticed a "lump/bump/knot" the size of a marble in what seems to be the jaw hinge/joint area.  It did not hurt before I found it.  After pushing on it several times it did begin to hurt. (So just dont push on it, right?!)  It is about even with my lower earlobe level.  I went to a dentist and he felt on it and asked me when did I dislocate my jaw.  Seeing as how I have not and have had no recent injury, I ran out of his office.  The next dentist manipulated my jaw while feeling the bump and said I needed to see an oral surgeon.  He said it was not part of the parotid glands in that it is not soft tissue.  It is not related to my teeth as in an infection either.  I have no insurance and cannot go to the oral surgeon for awhile.

I have never had TMJ, nor any pain in my jaws before this.  Could this be artheritis as the second dentist suggested? I am 33 yoF and do have an unspecified connective tissue/collagen vascular dx. Are you able to steer me in what direction this bump could be?  Should I be concerned about a tumor/growth in this area?

Thnx in advance for your help
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If there's a bump in the area, there's always a possibility that it may be a tumor.  A thorough examination by an oral surgeon would be a good next step.  If you have no insurance for an oral surgeon, you may want to go see your regular primary care physician and see if he might be able to find you a referral through your medical insurance if possible.

I can't tell you what the bump might be.  If its not in the soft tissue, then that means there's a bump in the jaw bone itself.  Thats a cause for concern.

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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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