Sorry, but this is long...
I had noticed a swelling at the bottom of my mouth that I assumed was a salivary gland. I didn't think much about it and it didn't seem to really change. My dentist moved away a few years ago and due to work, etc. I just got so busy I never found a new one so I'm not sure exactly how long it has been there.
I recently started worrying about this due to a lymph node that I can easily feel on the back of my neck. I think I have had this "palpable" node for years and years. My first reaction to the lymph node was it was skin cancer related(I've had a number of atypical moles removed). My dermatologist said it was nothing...we all have a few nodes like this.
For some reason, I remembered the swelling in my mouth and wondered if this had anything to do with the lymph node. The swelling in my mouth is at the bottom of my mouth on the left side between my tongue and inside of my molars. If I stick my tongue up or from side to side, you really can't see a difference between one side and the other. If I pull my tongue back towards the back of my mouth(I know if sounds funny, but I can make my tongue short and fat), you can see the extra "tissue"/swelling at the bottom of my mouth. I wonder if the muscles in the floor of my mouth make it "pop" up and become more visible. It feels the same as the other side, it just feels bigger on that side. I became concerned and noticed a "walk-in" clinic that I pass occasionally on my way to work has an ENT on staff.
I went in for an appt. While I was in the examination room, the nurse asked why I was there and I told her about the spot in my mouth and she wanted me to stick out my tongue and move it from side to side. She stated she could see some calculi(or calculus) and just commented about the possibility of a clogged salivary gland. she then asked if it hurt and I replied that it did not. The doctor came in a few minutes later and did a head and neck exam. He said that he did not "feel" any tumors and he thought I had some blockage in Wharton's duct that "drains" the submandibular gland. He explained that this happens occasionally due to the length of the duct, etc. I was kind of relieved, but thought it sounded odd. I asked him what we needed to do to fix it and he said nothing. No scans, no surgery, etc. When he was doing the head and neck exam, he seemed to have pushed on it a little with a tongue depressor. I don't know if he "unclogged" it or not.
This area feels like it has "deflated" somewhat when I run my tongue over it, but visually it looks the same. If I press on it with my fingers it does feel a little softer, but the "deeper" tissue(s) feel the same. I read some information about this on the internet, and typically this type of problem seems to be painful and tends to swell when you eat and subside.
This swollen salivary gland seemed to always stay the same and was never painful. I'm wondering if I should get a second opinion?
The "diagnosis" seems strange to me. Has anybody ever heard of this? I noticed that the duct opening on that side of my mouth does not easily open like the other side. If I palpate each side I can see the other side open, but not this side.
It just seems strange. I assume he did something to unclog it. Will it continue to "shrink"???
By the way, he said the lymph node in my neck was a "shoddy" node and it drains the area on the back of my head. He didn't think it was anything. I forgot to mention that I had used chewing tobacco off and on for 15-20 years, never a heavy user, but was a user. I also drink a few beers each week. Rarely drink on a week night, but will drink 3-4 on Friday and Saturday.
Maybe the doctor can weigh in on this. It just seems strange to me, especially since it doesn't match what you read on the internet(I know there is a lot of misinformation or partial information out there).
I don't know if I should get another opinion or just not worry about it.