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My five-year-old son has a single swollen gland under his left ear on his neck. What causes just one gland to swell?

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Swollen glands mean one or more swollen lymph nodes, so I reckon that I doesn’t make a difference if it were just one or more.

How long has your son had this swollen node? What about any other accompanying symptoms? Lymph glands swell when there is an infection, because they contain cells that produce antibodies for fighting infections. The lymph nodes that are near the site of infection enlarge because more cells are being produced. Swollen gland in the neck usually indicates sore throat, a tooth infection or other infection inside the mouth.

If the gland is swollen, but not red and tender, it will probably subside as soon as the infection clears. It may actually take two weeks or so, months in some cases.

If the nodes themselves become infected, they may become red and swollen and tender, and may demand for an antibiotic treatment.
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