The cheek is the fleshy area of skin between the jaw and chin. While it may seem like it serves no purpose, it helps aid in digestion by releasing enzymes when you eat. The skin on the cheek also helps prevent food from falling out of the mouth when chewing. There may come a time when you notice that your cheeks are a little puffier than usual. It is critical to monitor this swelling because it may be a sign of a medical issue. These are the five most common causes of cheek swelling.
A tooth abscess is a common dental issue that can easily lead to swelling in the cheeks. This occurs when bacteria enter the pulp of the tooth that is exposed by a cavity or crack. Once the bacteria sits in the pulp for an extended amount of time, a dangerous infection will develop. In addition to swollen cheeks, you will also experience throbbing tooth pain, fever, and a bad taste in the mouth.
One of the leading causes of cheek swelling is also one of the easiest to explain. An injury to the face will often lead to swelling around the cheeks. This injury could be caused by a fall or getting hit in the face with an object. This is something you likely would not forget, so the swelling should not come as a surprise. There is a good chance bruising will also develop on the face after an injury.
Salivary Gland Infection
The parotid glands in the cheek release saliva as you are eating to help aid in chewing and digestion. These glands remain completely hidden until they become infected. Just like every other gland in the body, the parotid glands will start to swell when an infection develops. Due to their location, this will lead to puffy cheeks. Salivary duct stones and dry mouth are the main causes of this infection.
Angioedema is a skin condition that causes rapid swelling after coming in contact with an allergen. This swelling can occur anywhere on the body, but it most commonly affects the face. Severe cases can cause swelling to occur in a matter of minutes. Luckily, this swelling is often painless.
Pericoronitis is a dental condition that occurs when the gums become inflamed around the wisdom teeth. Since the wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth, the inflammation often causes swelling to develop on the cheeks. You may also notice a discharge coming out of the gums when dealing with pericoronitis. Getting the infection treated will reduce the swelling in your mouth and on your cheeks.
If you think that your cheek swelling is due to a dental issue, do not hesitate to contact North View Dental today. We will happily answer your questions on the phone before scheduling an appointment. Our offices are designed with your comfort in mind, so you can expect a professional experience every time you visit North View Dental.