Can Swollen Lymph Nodes Be Brought On By Dental Issues?

in Van, TX
By Advanced Family Dentistry
By Advanced Family Dentistry

Swollen lymph nodes are an indication of the body’s attempt to fight off infection or disease. In some cases, swollen lymph nodes can be caused by dental issues. It is important to understand how dental issues can affect your overall health, including your lymph nodes. Let’s look at what swollen lymph nodes are and how they could be related to dental issues. 

What Are Swollen Lymph Nodes? 

Lymph nodes are found throughout the body in several locations, such as the neck, armpits, and groin area. When healthy, these small glands are typically not visible or felt. However, when the body is fighting an infection or disease, it becomes enlarged and more noticeable. This is known as swelling of the lymph nodes and it can be a sign that something is wrong. 

Can Dental Issues Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes? 

Yes! There is evidence that suggests that there may be a link between swollen lymph nodes and dental issues such as gum disease or cavities. The bacteria from these conditions can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, resulting in swelling of the lymph nodes around the infected area. This type of inflammation can cause pain in the affected area, which may lead to further medical attention if left untreated. Additionally, untreated dental issues may also lead to serious infections that can spread throughout the body and cause other complications, such as fever or fatigue. 

It is important to note that while swollen lymph nodes can indicate a dental issue, they could also be due to another underlying condition, such as cancer or an autoimmune disorder so it is best to have any swelling checked out by a dentist at Advanced Family Dentistry Nashua for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Can a Tooth Infection or Toothache Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes? 

Yes, a tooth infection can cause swollen lymph nodes, particularly if left untreated. While a simple cavity might not trigger this reaction, more advanced infections like pulpitis or an abscess can definitely lead to swollen lymph nodes, especially those in your neck and jaw.

  • Lymph nodes: These bean-shaped structures are your body’s immune system’s soldiers, filtering fluids and trapping bad actors like bacteria and viruses.
  • Tooth infection: When bacteria in your teeth burrow deeper, it can lead to an infection, causing inflammation and pain.
  • Swollen lymph nodes: When infections occur, nearby lymph nodes kick into high gear, potentially becoming swollen and tender as they fight the intruders.

Types of Tooth Infections Causing Swollen Lymph Nodes:

  • Cavity: Generally, it doesn’t cause swollen nodes unless it is very deep or left untreated for a long time.
  • Pulpitis: inflammation of the tooth pulp, which can trigger swollen nodes in the jaw or neck.
  • Abscess: A collection of pus around the tooth, highly likely to cause swollen and tender lymph nodes.
  • Gum disease: Advanced stages can lead to swollen lymph nodes, especially when combined with other infections.

Swollen Lymph Nodes After Teeth Cleaning

Although less common, swollen lymph nodes can occur after a teeth cleaning, especially if there was underlying inflammation or infection that the cleaning addressed. It’s usually temporary and should subside within a few days.

Antibiotics for Swollen Lymph Nodes:

If the swollen lymph nodes are due to a confirmed tooth infection, immediately consult your dentist, who will likely prescribe antibiotics to combat the infection directly. The swollen nodes usually reduce along with the infection clearing.


Swollen lymph nodes can be caused by many different factors, including dental problems like gum disease or cavities, if left untreated for too long. It is important for everyone to take care of their oral health in order to prevent any possible complications from arising in other areas of their bodies. If you suspect you may have any type of dental issue, such as a cavity or gum disease, make sure you see your dentist right away for proper diagnosis and treatment before it develops into anything more serious, like swollen lymph nodes!

Related Blog: Can a Cavity Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?


Q: What are some of the symptoms associated with swollen lymph nodes due to dental issues? 

A: Symptoms associated with swollen lymph nodes due to dental issues include pain or tenderness around the affected area, swelling of the lymph node itself, difficulty swallowing or speaking due to swelling of tissues near the neck, fever and chills, and a sore throat.

Q: Will my toothache go away if I treat the swollen lymph nodes?

A: No, treating the swollen lymph nodes won’t address the underlying toothache or infection. You need to see a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment of the tooth issue.

Q: How long do swollen lymph nodes from a tooth infection last?

It depends on the severity of the infection and the effectiveness of the treatment. Typically, they subside within days or weeks after addressing the dental issue.

Q: Are there any home remedies for swollen lymph nodes?

A: No, home remedies won’t treat the underlying cause, which is likely a tooth infection. Consult a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Q: Can anything else besides a tooth infection cause swollen lymph nodes in my neck?

A: Yes, various other infections, allergies, and even some cancers can cause swollen lymph nodes. Seeing a doctor or dentist is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.

Q: Can a toothache cause swollen lymph nodes?

A: Yes, while not every toothache will lead to swollen lymph nodes, it’s definitely a possibility, especially if the toothache stems from a deeper infection.