I have sjogrens and have had a million neck problems. If you've ever had any type of head injury, dental stuff, ear infections, throat infections, they can alone cause neck infections under the skin, that are encapsulated in your tissue. They can abscess. Usually a leaking filling or crown is the result, but those with benign puncture wounds to the temple, like this guy who got shot in the temple with a nail gun, had neck infections for years. It is important to go to the doctor and get some antibiotics if your neck is swollen and heated and painful. Also, it is important that they make sure you don't have a stone in your salivary gland, which an ear nose and throat guy can get out with a wire type instrument. I've never heard anything about sjogrens people avoiding antibiotics, I have been told that I need to keep these throat infections under control. What has happened in my case is that sjogrens and frequent throat infections and infection from the head injurey and probably teeth too have caused numerous small infections throughout my life, my lymph nodes control them and get rid of them most of the time, but do to all the hyperactivity with chronic inflammationin my salivary glands, my lymph nodes stopped working well and began to hypertrophy, get hard, calcify and otherwise change. Though the changes were benign, they can become cancerous over long periods of time, and having sjogrens, you are at a much greater risk for lymphoma, and this is probably why. I have had both submandibular glands removed and the surrounding lymph nodes for the reasons you describe, though I underwent long trials with antibiotics, even IV antibiotics. The problem is that the areas inflamed are encapsulated by tissue and not well reached by the antibiotics. My ENT gives me superstrong doses of like 1000mg of penicillin, penicillin works well with me. He believes in zapping it with a strong dose right at the start to knock it out. I may be switched to something else if it doesn't work then he may come back and try the penicillin again later.
A CAT scan of your neck with contrast can show what is going on and help them decide what to do. I've been told that a sudden swelling (mine blocked my airway and made me talk brassy and hoarse) was a good reason to have this done. I would go in for the pain and try a strong dose of an antibiotic. Odds are, it will go away, but if not they can check it. The last time, they had to do a gallium scan to see the pocket of infection in the tissue surrounding my lymph nodes and salivary glands.
I'm sorry it's going after the parotid area, that hurts bad I know. Another reason to go in, pain meds. You may have an ear infection or something. A heating pad on the area sometimes helps me, sometimes putting a camphor based cream or ointment on the area, like tiger balm or ben gay takes my mind off the pain. An ice pack works sometimes too, whatever seems right. I would avoid really sour stuff till you see the doc.
I hope you have success getting rid of this. For me, every time this happens it just won't go away for months and months and eventually they take them out and biopsy them (my ENT says the needle biopsy is not sufficient because you may miss where the cancer is). Penicillin nearly fixed my last one, but the local pc doc prescribed too low a dose to start, then I was sort of used to it by the time they upped it.
I will pray you feel better. Take care. Marji
--Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us. Bill Watterson (1958-) cartoonist "Calvin and Hobbes"
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy, GI nightmare
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Detrol, Klonopin, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroid injections and pred prn