Does Your Child Have A Swollen Jaw?

In: Child Health

1 Aug 2011

What is Mumps?

Mumps is a contagious viral disease that causes painful enlargement of the salivary glands especially the parotid gland. It is caused by an RNA virus called the Mumps virus. The virus enters the cells of the respiratory tract and multiplies there and then enters the blood and infects many tissues but the salivary glands are especially infected in all cases.

Age range most commonly affected?

Children ages 5-10

How do you get mumps?

This virus is transmitted by direct contact from an infected person, droplet infection from an infected persons cough, or by fomites contaminated with saliva.

Infectious period?

The infectious period is 24 hours before the swelling appears and 3 days after the swelling is gone.

Signs and Symptoms of Mumps

The incubation period is 14- 24 days and the parotid salivary gland swells up so much that the ear lobe is displaced upwards and outwards. The swelling covers the whole angle of the jaw sometimes and is painful especially when eating sour foods. The swelling is very rapid, within a few hours the swelling reaches its maximum but continues to increase for 1-3 days. The inside of the mouth is sometimes red and swollen as well within a week the swelling disappears and 25% of cases have  the swelling on only one side.

Lab tests

The mumps virus can be found in ones saliva, blood and urine.

Complications of Mumps

  1. Deafness
  2. Arthritis
  3. Thyroid infection
  4. Myocarditis
  5. Ovary infection
  6. Pancreatitis
  7. Epididymo-orchitis- common in adult males, testes are painful and swollen.
  8. Meningoencephalomyelitis


  • There is no specific antiviral available
  • Semi solid foods should be given to decrease pain of chewing
  • Medication for fever reduction
  • Bed rest

Eventually there will be complete recovery. Even most of the complications subside and are usually not on a serious scale.

Preventing mumps

There is a vaccine called MMR and all children should be vaccinated at 12-15 months.

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General health blog enables you to find useful and interesting facts about many health topics. Written by Dr. Sumaira Khan, this blog is updated regularly and provides reliable information which is made easy to understand for everyone. please feel free to leave any comments or questions.