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Why Is My Cheek Swollen from the Inside Part?

What causes swollen inside cheeks and mouth? Is it tooth extraction, abscess or wisdom tooth issues? We have causes that may be accompanied by or without tooth pain, on side, and jaws well as ways to treat and reduce the swelling.

Do you know why you have a swollen cheek? This is usually a symptom of hat arises when they develop a lump or becomes larger than normal. It may occur for many reasons, but usually it is due to excessive accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the cheeks. Let us begin by looking at some cases.


Cheek swelling is usually associated with dermatological conditions such as excessive oil accumulation, which can lead to acne; a cyst, skin infections; or skin growths such as keloids, which develop when scars from excess tissue. Other causes include recent surgery, injury, or tooth abscess.

However, sometimes it could be a result of a serious allergic reaction that should be immediately evaluated in a medical setting. This is usually accompanied by painful swelling of the jaws and difficulty chewing. Also, it could be a symptom of mumps, a serious viral infection.

Here is the summary of the causes of swollen cheek from inside the mouth:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Burns
  • Cancer of the skin, salivary glands, or oral cavity
  • Hereditary angioedema (a serious genetic disorder that causes periodic swelling of the throat and other areas)
  • Inflammation or infection of the salivary glands (sialoadenitis)
  • Lymphadenopathy (swelling of lymph nodes in front of the ear)
  • Malnutrition
  • Medication side effects
  • Mumps (a systemic viral infection affecting the salivary glands)
  • Obstruction of the salivary gland ducts by stones (sialolithiasis)
  • Recent surgery
  • Recent trauma or injury to the face
  • Tooth abscess
  • Weight gain or obesity

Other skin conditions that can enhance this problem include:

  • Acne
  • Boils
  • Cellulitis (a common bacterial skin infection)
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Keloids (excess scar tissue)
  • Rosacea (chronic redness of the skin)
  • Sebaceous cyst (a benign sac under the skin that contains a white, oily material)
  • Seborrhea (a common red, itchy rash with white scales)

When due to tooth pain

Tooth pain happens to be one of the most common causes not only on the cheek but also on face and cheekbones or jaws. There are known causes of these situations such as a toothache, tooth abscess, impacted 3rd molar, tooth decay or from tooth infection).

a). Wisdom tooth

This is the major cause since wisdom teeth are trying to own their location. Infections, abscessed tooth, injuries (chipping or breakages) can often result in wisdom teeth cheek swelling.

b). Tooth abscess

According to webmd.com, “an abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth (center of the teeth) or between the gum and a tooth” that is commonly caused by a serious tooth decay.

If not treated, tooth dental abscess can cause the development of a hole in enamels that will make bacteria go to the tooth pulp and spread to the tooth root and jaw bone i.e. swollen jaw from abscessed tooth.

Other signs of tooth abscess are fever, bitter mouth taste, swollen neck glands, some swelling and redness, swollen lower and upper jaw areas, draining sore on side of gum, sensitivity to cold or hot foods, pain when eating or chewing among others.

c). Toothache

This occurs due to infection or injury that results in enlargement of cheeks especially on the side that has a tooth problem. Usually, the swelling is accompanied by some pain from the aching tooth.

d).Poor extraction

Dental activities such as tooth removal, root canal procedure, and dental cosmetic surgery can lead this problem. The swelling, pain, and discomfort should disappear after a few days.

Cures and treatment

Treatment will always depend on the causes that have led to this situation. Some of the treatments are:

Drugs and medicines

These may be the use of antibiotics, antivirals, an anti-inflammatory that is obtained over the counter or other prescribed medications depending on what is behind the underlying swelling whose intention is to reduce pain and offer swollen tooth infection treatment.


If your swelling is caused by an allergic reaction, you need to use antihistamines and avoid the allergens.

Natural cure or remedies

You can also try a number of home cures to reduce and soothe the swelling.  We will discuss more on how to reduce or ease pain later in the post.

Note: If you have a severe infection, your tooth may be removed, or you may need surgery to drain the abscess. Some people may need to be admitted to the hospital.

Swelling one side and jaw

If you have a this issue on one side and jaw, some of the common cause may include but not limited to the following:

  • Blunt trauma,
  • Dental works,
  • Oral surgery,
  • Corrective jaw surgeries,
  • Chin surgery,
  • Tooth problems,
  • Salivary gland infections among others.

When without tooth pain

It is normal to experience swelling with no pain or sometimes accompanied by a slight pain. Painless cases could be on either your inner cheek, upper or lower side. Sometimes, cysts, dental abscess, allergic reactions, swelling due to malnutrition, etc. might not cause any pain.

For those instances whereby swelling is accompanied by some pain (red inflamed cheeks that are swollen). In such situations, you are expected to go for the over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs as well as apply cold compresses to reduce inflammation and swelling but it is advisable to seek medical treatment from a dentist.

With a swollen gland

If you are experiencing swelling cheeks due to swollen salivary glands like swollen parotid glands in cheek, swollen submandibular glands, or sublingual glands which are behind your tongue but in front of submandibular glands.

Swollen glands could be as a result of bacterial or viral infections that might lead to swelling and inflammation around the cheek. The common causes include HIV, mumps, salivary stones, tumor, Sjogren’s syndrome, malnutrition, influenza A, poor hygiene, and dehydration.

In addition, if your salivary gland ducts are blocked by stones, then you might end up with cheeks that are swollen. This is another cause associated with salivary glands.

Note: You need a diagnosis before medications or treatment options can be explored since there are many causes of inflamed and/or swollen glands.

How to reduce swelling 

The following are ways to ease swelling of a cheek due to a toothache:

  • Clean your mouth out with warm salt water every hour.
  • Frequently keep on brushing and flossing to remove any trapped food particles that may be contributing to your toothache and swelling.
  • Apply a cold compress to the affected side of your face to reduce the discomfort.
  • Go for anti-inflammatory medications that help relieve swelling and pain due to a toothache. If over-the-counter medications are not strong enough, contact your doctor for a prescription-strength drug.
  1. Tooth abscess: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001060.htm
  2. https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/oral-health/cheek-swelling–causes
  3. http://www.simple-remedies.com/health-tips-5/swollen-inner-cheek.html
  4. http://www.livestrong.com/article/364619-how-to-ease-swelling-of-a-cheek-due-to-a-toothache/
  5. Swollen Sub Mandibular Gland: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Ear–Nose–Throat/Swollen-Sub Mandibular-Gland/show/7742


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