Swollen Cheek – The Most Common Reasons for This Condition

Swollen Cheek - What to Do When You Notice It

Swollen Cheek – What to Do When You Notice It

If you notice swelling on your face, it can be a sign of a deeper problem. Of course, in the majority of cases, it is root canals that will have this type of side effect. Whether it is a reaction to a procedure or an infection of the gums, it is a clear sign that you might want to visit your dentist. But there are a couple of other reasons why cheekbone swelling might appear. 

Different Areas That Can Swell

Just saying that you have a swollen cheek won’t be enough for anyone to determine the problem. The simplest way to narrow it down a bit is to take a look at different areas that can swell since each can point to a different medical condition. 

The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether the swelling appeared on only one cheek or both. If only one cheek is swollen, it might mean that the problem lies in your teeth. You might have an infected tooth, some form of facial injury, salivary stones, infections, but also more serious conditions like salivary gland tumor. 

On the other hand, the swelling might appear on the inside of the cheek, suggesting a problem with lymph nodes, which are often caused by infections. It is also worth mentioning that there are a couple of conditions that can have this type of effect, including Cushing’s syndrome and Sjogren’s syndrome. Finally, if the swelling is along the gums, there is a high chance that it is periodontitis. 

For those that notice that they have puffy cheeks or any other type of facial swelling, the problem might be caused by an allergic reaction, mumps, and teeth alike. 

One Cheek or Both?

Whether only one cheek is swollen or both will make a world of difference. Furthermore, face swelling can be caused by a number of reasons. The doctor will need to determine the area where the swelling appeared, and it will help them narrow it down. 

Additionally, you will need to tell them whether you have any other symptoms along with swelling. For example, one could have difficulty breathing or feeling pain in a part of their body, and any information you can provide will be more than helpful in determining the cause. 

Why Does It Happen?

The most common reason for swollen cheeks is if the patient had a root canal procedure. And the good thing about it is that they will know why their face is swollen. It is usually generated around the area where the treated tooth is, and it is a reaction to the root canal treatment. Of course, other dental procedures involving teeth can also cause a reaction. That includes tooth extraction, tooth abscess, inflammation, and others. So, as long as it is teeth-related, there is a high chance you will know the reason behind it. 

Similarly, periodontitis can cause swelling as well since it is a form of gum disease. The first thing you should do is check out to see if your gums are red or inflamed, and then talk to your dentist. Other obvious reasons include injuries or trauma in the area. If you get hit in the face, it is only natural that the cheeks or cheekbone is swollen. 

But things are not always apparent. That is why it is essential to report other symptoms to your doctor as well. For example, mumps is an infection that causes high temperature, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, and so on. Lymph nodes can be infected as well, and it is worth checking out whether there is a bacterial infection affecting the skin. 


If the swelling is not caused by a reaction to a dental procedure or injury, it is in your interest to discover why your cheeks are swollen. And the only way to achieve that is to visit a doctor. Keep in mind that swellings are not normal, and you should call 911. It is a medical emergency, and you will need to act as soon as possible. 

Fortunately, diagnosis can be quite simple, and your doctor shouldn’t have a hard time determining the cause. Imaging tests like X-ray, MRI, or CT are more than helpful in seeing what’s going on below the surface, and the doctor will be able to see the structure of the anomaly. 

They might also order you to do a blood test, urinalysis, or even a biopsy to confirm the source of the problem. Once they understand what caused the swelling, they can proceed to cure the problem. 

How to Solve It?

The treatment is based on the problem. Dental issues will require you to visit the dentist, and if the tooth is inflamed or beyond saving, the only possible solution will be extraction. If it is a reaction to treatment like a root canal, dentists will recommend a way to reduce symptoms assuming the treatment is going according to plan. 

If the swelling is caused by an injury, the doctor will tell you to cool the area and compress it to reduce swelling. You should also keep your head elevated to allow proper blood flow and gently massage the area to stimulate blood flow. 

Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, surgery might be necessary. Finally, problems like mumps can’t be treated. There is no medical procedure that will eliminate the disease, and the only thing you can do is wait for it to pass. 

What to Do?

As you can see, there are a couple of different solutions, and if you are not sure what caused the swelling, the best course of action would be to visit your doctor. They will be able to provide more details and ensure that you are healing properly. 

Keep in mind that the majority of these conditions are not common, and it is most likely that the problem is with teeth or gums. Sometimes, a general dentist will be able to determine the cause of the problem and point you in the right direction. 

Swollen face causes many different problems, and it would be best if you addressed the problem as soon as you notice it. Regardless of what the cause may be, you have to reduce the swelling and continue with your normal life.