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Swollen Jaw – All You Need To Know

Excerpt: When you're dealing with a swollen jaw, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential causes...
Table of Contents

Swollen Jaw

A swollen jaw can have many causes. Viral infections, such as the common cold, can cause a swollen jaw. Other causes include a toothache, injury to the jawbone, or an allergic reaction. If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor for an evaluation.

When you’re dealing with a swollen jaw, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential causes. In order to help you figure out what might be causing your jaw to swell, here are some symptoms of different types of swelling and how they might affect your body. 

Diagnosis Of A Swollen Jaw

If you have a swollen jaw, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A swollen jaw can indicate a number of different health issues, such as dental problems or a head injury. 

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Dental Problems

If you’re experiencing a swollen jaw, it may be a dental emergency, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A swollen jaw can be due to a number of factors, and it’s important to know what to look for so you can get the help you need. Here are some common signs and symptoms of a swollen jaw:
  • Swelling that’s gradual or sudden
  • Pain when opening your mouth wide or chewing
  • Unexplained difficulty speaking or breathing
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. A swollen jaw can be a sign of a more serious condition, and prompt medical attention will determine the best course of treatment.


Swelling and pain in the jaw may be a sign that there is a tumor. Other signs of a tumor may include difficulty swallowing or speaking, persistent headache, changes in mood or behavior, and nausea or vomiting. If you are concerned that you may have a tumor, consult your doctor.


When a traumatic event causes swelling, it’s important to seek medical attention. Swelling can be caused by a variety of factors, including fractures, spinal cord injuries, and even a car accident. If swelling is severe or continues after the injury has healed, it may be an indication of another condition. In some cases, swollen tissues may require medical treatment to reduce the swelling and improve the patient’s prognosis.
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Treatments for a Swollen Jaw

The following are treatments for a swollen jaw: 

Professional Treatment

You should always and immediately make a dental appointment if you are experiencing facial swelling. If you cannot make a dentist appointment in a timely manner, it may be urgent enough to seek a doctor in the meantime. If your face is noticeably swollen, you may even want to consider it an emergency situation.


The best way to treat a swollen jaw is to take some time off and rest. A shut mouth will help reduce the swelling and pain.

Cold Compress

Ice can help reduce pain and inflammation. Apply ice packs to the jaw for 20 minutes every four hours, or as needed.

Over-The-Counter Medication

Tylenol can also be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation. Take two pills every four hours as needed.
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A swollen jaw can be a very scary and unpleasant experience. If you are experiencing swelling in your jaw, it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. A swollen jaw may be the result of a number of different things, and it is important to get diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible so that the swelling can decrease and the pain can subside. Be sure to read our article on how to treat a swollen jaw for more information on what might be causing it, how you should go about getting treatment, and some tips on how to manage your symptoms while they are still mild.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should definitely be concerned. In some cases, the swelling may be temporary if it’s reaction-based due to an allergy. However, if you’re unsure why the swelling is occurring, then it can be an emergency.

You should speak to a dentist first about oral issues. Doctors will have knowledge of oral issues, but a dentist is a specialist in that area. If the swelling is due to an underlying concern or is out of the dentist’s area of expertise, then they will refer you out.

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