Swelling in the cheeks can make them appear larger than normal. Swollen cheeks can also be painful and make it quite uncomfortable to eat and drink. Mouth sores and inflammation, known as stomatitis medically, can affect any part of the mouth and vary in the way they look and the size of the lump. While the most common cause of swelling in inner cheeks is the accumulation of the fluids in the tissues, there are some other cases that may cause the cheeks to swell up. Let us look at the probable causes.
What causes swelling in inner cheeks?
Dermatological processes like tooth extraction can cause fluids to collect up in the tissues of the cheeks and cause swelling. It may also cause acne, cyst, sores, inflammation and skin infections or skin growths. An injury, a trauma, tooth abscess, recent surgery can also cause swollen and painful inner cheeks. Sometimes, swelling in the cheeks is a result of some serious allergic reactions that need immediate medical attention. Viral infections such as mumps may also show symptoms of swollen cheeks and warrant immediate medical attention.
Below is the summary of the most common causes of swelling in the inner cheeks-
- Acne, boils or burns
- Allergic reaction, medicinal side effects
- Recent surgery, trauma or injury to the cheeks or face
- Tooth abscess or tooth extraction or other dental issues
- Ingrown hair
- Viral infections such as Mumps
- Bacterial infections such as cellulitis
- Malnutrition or sudden weight gain or obesity
- Benign cysts that may contain white, oily liquid
What are the symptoms of swollen inner cheeks?
Swelling in the cheeks can also bring about other symptoms, depending on the cause of the swelling. Some skin symptoms that may be noticed along with inner cheek swelling include-
- Red, pink bumps on the facial skin, or lumps on the skin’s surface
- Redness, itching, dryness, and rashes accompanied by a warm sensation
- Bleeding or bruising of the skin on the cheeks or face
Some serious symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention are-
- Fever, higher than 101 degrees F
- Sneezing, wheezing, breathing or respiratory troubles
- Noticeable and sudden swelling in the face, lips or tongue
- Pain or inflammation in the teeth or any other part of the mouth
How to treat a swollen cheek due to a toothache?
Swelling of the cheek, jaws, the face can also be caused due to a toothache or dental procedures. Some common reasons that cause a toothache and subsequent swelling are-
When a wisdom tooth is sprouting: As wisdom tooth sprouts quite late, it can be a painful experience. The tooth is trying to make its way through the gums and can cause pain and discomfort resulting in wisdom tooth cheek swelling.
An abscessed tooth: It can be a painful condition that arises when an infection arises at either the root of the tooth or between the gum and the tooth. The most common cause of an abscessed tooth is serious tooth decay and the condition can be quite painful. It may require medical attention on an immediate basis.
Infection due to injury: Swelling in the inner cheeks can also be due to a toothache caused by either an injury or trauma to a tooth. It can be a painful condition and cause inflammation.
Incorrect dental procedures or tooth extraction: Incorrect procedure carried out during a tooth extraction, root canal procedure, cosmetic dental surgeries etc. can also cause inflammation of the tissues under the cheek. This can usually cause swelling, pain, and discomfort to for a few days.
Home Remedies for reducing swelling in inner cheeks
- Warm water and salt rinses: If swelling in the inner cheeks is due to the tooth or dental issues, it can be reduced by frequently cleaning and rinsing the mouth with salt and warm water solution. This can be done every hour for best results.
- Frequent brushing and flossing: Keeping your teeth away from any trapped food particles that may cause infection by brushing and flossing after every meal can also help ease swelling in the inner cheeks
- Cold compress: To reduce swelling and discomfort thereof due to swollen cheeks, apply a cold compress frequently on the affected side. Do not apply ice directly on the skin, use a cold compress pack or wrap a few pieces of ice in a clean towel and then apply the ice –pack.
- Avoiding hot foods: Avoid eating spicy and hot foods. Also, avoid hot or warm beverages and foods that may have a citrus base
- Watch salt intake: To avoid accumulation of fluids in the cheek tissues, avoid or reduce salt intake to a minimum. Avoid junk foods, fried and fast food items or consume in strict moderation
- Use potatoes: Potatoes have been seen to have a good effect on reducing swelling of the cheeks. Peel a potato, cut it into thin slices and place them on the affected area for getting quick relief.
- Hot compress: Take a clean towel and dip it in hot water. Wring it and drain excess water. Place this hot towel on the affected side and get relief from swelling in the cheeks. Hot compresses improve blood circulation and expedite healing.
Medical treatments for swelling in the inner cheeks
Medical treatment for swelling in the cheeks depends on the underlying cause of the infection. Doctors usually prescribe –
OTCs – The first line of treatment in the absence of any serious symptoms is usually OTCs. They not only bring down the swelling but also provide relief from pain and discomfort.
Drugs and medicines – If OTC’s are unhelpful or if the cause of the swelling is an infection that may be viewed as serious by medical practitioners, antibiotics, antivirals or anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed. Never take these medicines on your own and always consult your doctor for the right dosage. Inflammation may be treated with pills, creams and ointments or gels.
Antihistamines – For treating swollen cheeks due to sinusitis, allergies and other infections antihistamines may be prescribed.
In the event that the swelling does not go away with OTCs and home remedies, see a specialist dentist right away. Never ignore serious symptoms as mentioned above.